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Isabel McLaughlin

Biography and Artist Statement

Isabel McLaughlin (they/she) is an artist pursuing a BA in Studio Art from Kalamazoo College. Isabel uses illustration, sculpture, tattoos, and performance to explore how we can develop authentic and liberatory relationships between consumers, producers, and decomposers. She creates work in very private spaces (bodies) and public spaces (urban areas) to navigate how individuals connect to collective responsibilities. Isabel draws from her experiences as a white, queer, middle-class person from the Midwest, United States.

Follow their work:

Instagram @perpetual.bel
Facebook: Isabel McLaughlin

Five figures with dark to light skin tones and brightly patterned clothes dance in the center. They are surrounded by words that repeat in the background: Rest, Resist, Rejoice, Joy, Justice.





Espero Preciso Fazer Xixi! (Wait! I have to pee!), bathroom installation

A black hand holds a red berry, these words circle around the hand: O sangue de amoreira pinta a rua vermelho escuro. Mas alguém pausa salvar uma fruta com consumo. The blood of a mulberry paints the street dark red. But someone pauses to save the fruit with consumption.

A colorful mermaid with a patterned tail and boots on a black background reaches towards the top corner. Words come out of their mouth: “Wait! I was putting on my boots!”

A figure wearing a shirt and skirt with flowers and stars leaps across the image. Fire trails behind her head, hands, and body. The words, “Leaping towards Justice” circle around them.

A friendly, long brown dragon breathes tan fire and twists throughout the page. Five figures with black and white skin tones and black and white clothes hold onto the dragon in differing ways.

Fogo energiza nossa resistencia Fumaca respira nossa memoria Cinzas seguram nossa historia Profundamente dentro da terra Fire energizes our resistance Smoke breathes our memory Ash holds our history Deep within the earth.

A set of dishes within a socially-engaged art project in response to the Phillip Evergood mural located in the student dining hall at Kalamazoo College. I hoped to spark conversations and discussions about the insurgency and strength of Kalamazoo College students. Additionally, by eating off of these plates, the information on the dishes, like food, is a source of energy to power student engagement, activism, and vocalization.

A project that places designs tattooed onto bodies in public space. White, I tattoo images of decomposers onto participants, we will discuss: What is decomposing around us and within us? What comes next in the cycle? These same designs will be the basis of public street art and outdoor sculptures.