Isabel Thompson’s black and white work is about movement and restlessness, fluidity versus postures caught in an awkward, unsustainable split second. The media are conté (compacted charcoal) drawings or the relatively less fluid, less restless woodcut prints. The scale is large.
She was born and schooled in rural Eastern Cape and has lived in Johannesburg since 1982. Her creative output during the 1980s was mainly struggle posters and Tshirts, and patchwork quilts (many of the latter sewn by hand). It also included a 2 year Fine Arts Diploma at Wits Technicon, which was somewhat disrupted by the state of emergency in the country at the time. The Pata Pata woodcut series was selected for the last Cape Triennial in 1991; the next woodcut print, To Zanzibar By Motor Car, was a finalist in the Skotaville Art of Africa competition in 1993.
She spent the 1990s training as a doctor. As an artist, she has had three solo exhibitions: Goethe Institute (2001) and Upstairs@Bamboo (2005, 2006). She continues to work in general medical practice.