Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

Isobel Cortese


"on safari"

("Roles are reversed in this hunting scene from my 'Beastly Imaginarium' collection. Mixed media. Miniature scene in a glass dome. 13cm x 13cm x 13cm.")

"splash"

("Dark tales from my 'Disposal' collection. Mixed media. Miniature scene in a glass dome. 13cm x 13cm x 13cm.")

"bombed"

("Scene 1 from my 'Syria' collection. Mixed media. Miniature scene of a girl alone among the rubble and ruins of her bombed city in Syria. 13cm x 13cm x 13cm.")

"danger"

("Scene 4 from my 'Syria' collection. The refugees crossing the water in a dingy. Mixed media. 13cm x 13cm x 13cm.")

Isobel Cortese is an artist working in miniature. Inspired by all that is weird and wonderful, from the environment and social justice to curiosity boxes and dark tales, she creates scenes that replicate daily life with a dark twist. From afar the scenes look pretty, but as one looks closer, it's quite the opposite. The spark of curiosity and the element of surprise is why she loves working in miniature. Cortese works in mixed media which allows plenty of creativity to explore the best materials for making her scenes. She likes to encapsulate her miniature worlds beneath glass domes or other unusual vessels.

Cortese's background of travelling has deepened her connection with the world and different cultures, which has allowed her to have a great appreciation for diversity. She feels that each piece of her work has its own unique story to tell, which reflects her individualism.