Specialising in sculptural installation, drawing and printmaking, Isabelle Grobler’s work explores notions of hierarchies and power relations in a world scattered with economic and socio-political paradoxes. Using a variety of discarded and obsolete objects as a starting point, she creates surreal environments populated by hybrid machine-organisms constructed from urban debris.
The spaces she constructs in both her installations and drawings are dreamlike and alien: based on reality, but reconfigured by the unconscious, where recognisable things and ideas have been shuffled and reinterpreted to produce a Kafkaesque ambiguity. The sculptural characters vacillate, like Frankenstein’s monster, between the threatening and the pathetic, representing a transformation of dead things into unclassifiable beings.
Isabelle used a residency in Jaffa, Israel as a starting point to develop a body of work called ‘the cannibals’ congress’. This forms part of her ongoing project the cannibals' banquet where she explores the politics of consumption as a psychological and social human function. She is working towards a museum exhibition of this project in 2018.
Isabelle Grobler was born is Pretoria and grew up in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She spent her childhood years between the family farm and town. After starting out in a career as a Junior Springbok hockey player, an injury inspired a shift of focus, and she proved her versatility by completing her BA degree in Fine Art at the University of the Free State in 2009 and her Master of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town in 2012 (cum laude). She was the overall winner of the African Continental juried Lovell Art Competition in 2014. She has exhibited in South Africa, the UK and Israel, in galleries and art fairs including a highly reviewed solo booth at Art15 London. She completed a 6-week residency with the Tiroche DeLeon Collection and START in Jaffa, Isreal, and has had a solo exhibition with Sulger-Buel Lovell in London. In 2016 a large scale drawing work was sold at auction in Paris at PIASA auction house.