Her work falls within various narrative forms that all share the same point of departure in day-to-day observations. Joëlle Isoz draws a reflection, an aroma, a sound. She does not represent nature, but a fleeting feeling of nature. By freeing herself from this formal obligation, she explores the space between the visible and the imagined, between lived and fantasized. Different approaches for a single obsession: take notice of torments, mediate between straight and curve, allow explosions, query established tensions.
It is while roaming, at the water’s edge, in the mountains, in urban wild spaces, that the artist constructs her images. Walks during which her gaze seizes upon the subjects she then transforms, recomposes, and draws in pencil. Her motifs are sometimes nervous and precise - trees, leaves cut out like shadow puppets - sometimes ethereal - fog, clouds, skies - and always highlight the interplay of light, the reflections, the chiaroscuros.
Joëlle Isoz works the depths and nuances of pencil as a medium, refining details to distinguish the white spaces of snow from the whites of fog or the sky. She achieves her desired textures by superimposing up to ten layers, switching from the hardest leads to the softest. She begins with a hatched stroke that very quickly traces out the predominant lines. She then slowly shapes the more compact surfaces and the more finely nuanced ones, erasing them, setting them with spray, rubbing them out, redrawing them - all of this in a process that results in a highly worked drawing that does not ever become hyper-realistic, that remains both extremely precise and vibrant. The medium of the pencil becomes a painting, creating surfaces into which the lines disappear.
Trained at the Ecole des arts décoratif and the Ecole supérieur d’art visual in Geneva, Joëlle Isoz has shown her work in numerous exhibitions as well as created animated films and several publications. She is the recipient of a Berthoud, Lissignol-Chevalier and Galland grant, the Kiefer Hablitzel Prize and was a resident at Arcodis in Cuba. She was a finalist for the drawing prize from the Institut national genevois in 2011. She teaches at the Centre de formation professionelle in Geneva (CFPArts).