Isobel Rayson, Familiar Boundaries

“This series of new woodblock carvings reflects a continued exploration of place, the immediate surroundings of my home and studio in rural New South Wales. Like most, the events of this year have resulted in an abundance of time spent at home and I feel incredibly grateful for the quiet open space I have there.

Wandering around the farm acts as an escape from reality, my mind slows, and I begin to notice small details of objects that cross my path. The contours of weathered remnant wood, the veins of a leaf or the silhouette of surrounding hills. I enjoy this moment of discovery and document these details in photographs and sketches.

In the studio, I draw from these details and often abstract them through size, scale and repetition as I carve into the wooden surface. Focusing my attention solely on these details and the meditative process of repetitive carving allows me to escape into a simplified world of line, form and texture.”


Isobel Rayson is an early career artist based in New South Wales, Australia. Isobel graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the Australian National University, receiving first class honours in 2014. Since graduating, Isobel has exhibited widely across Australia and participated in residencies in Australia and Canada. In March 2020, Isobel was an artist in residence at Boom Gallery, Geelong.


Isobel draws inspiration from the surroundings of her home and studio in rural New South Wales, paying close attention to the marks and patterns found in this environment. Small details such as the contours of weathered remnant wood or the structure of a single seed pod littered among hundreds fallen from trees above are documented in photographs and sketches. In the studio, Isobel will use these references as a starting point, often abstracting details through size and repetition before translating them onto the woodblock through the process of carving.

Familiar Boundaries runs until December 23rd, to see the full listing click here.

install images by Carli Wilson Photography.