By Ben Carr, The Edge’s Events and Technical Office (and filmmaker, producer, editor and Director)
Since The Edge opened in 2010 I have been able to work across a number of roles within the organisation, and one of the standout experiences from my time here has been meeting the different artists and practitioners that have come through the doors. Each one has left their mark and interpreted what happens here in their own unique way.
Isabelle de Kleine is no exception to that. She arrived at The Edge in February from Melbourne after winning a 6 week arts residency from the National Portrait Gallery for her digital portrait Untitled. Once I heard about this I jumped online and had a look at her work. I was instantly immersed with the atmosphere Isabelle had created; the sound design and visuals adding to an overall feeling of dread.
Coming from a filmmaking background myself I have always been interested in how others can use the form in a way I never would or could, while still achieving that sole purpose, reaching and affecting an audience.
From making the short documentary piece on Isabelle’s time here I was able to chat to her quite regularly. What I did notice was her laid back nature and a strong sense of purpose and commitment to what she was doing. I know while some of us, given a residency in a different city might find their diligence wane, Isabelle kept a strong focus throughout and the work she displayed at the end of her time here spoke for itself.
I would describe Isabelle as a quiet and unassuming person, but as an artist she has an essential talent, the ability to see what others don’t. When I was filming her practice, I did notice a common theme; she was usually asked what her work was trying to say. As a documentary filmmaker I am unaccustomed to this type of question, and if it is asked then I need to ask some serious questions of myself. On the other end of the spectrum I felt like I didn’t want Isabelle to explain too much about her work, the visuals and sound of her portraits meant so much more than any verbal explanation.