Counterpoints Arts
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Refugee Week

Powerful miniatures
3rd May 2018

Isobel Cortese presents her new work, available for exhibition during Refugee Week

As an artist I am fascinated by the way life in miniature evokes feelings of wonder and enchantment, I like to create scenes replicating daily life but with a dark twist.

I love working on such a tiny scale because I think small is powerful! From afar the scenes look pretty but as you are drawn in you discover quite the opposite. That spark of curiosity and then the element of surprise, is why I love working in miniature.

My work relating to Syria documents the experiences of the refugees, from their war torn country to Europe, where they hope to find safety.

It is such a huge humanitarian crisis that I think it is difficult to comprehend the enormity of the situation from the safety of our homes. I have tried to capture the magnitude of this mass movement in miniature, to show visually the obstacles faced by these people in crisis.

I work in mixed media which allows me plenty of creativity to explore the best materials for making my scenes. I like to encapsulate my miniature worlds beneath glass domes or inside apothecary bottles or other unusual vessels. I think this comes from my love of natural history museums with their collections of works in cabinets and jars.

More images:

The work was recently sold to a collector but is available for exhibition during Refugee Week. If any venues are interested, please contact me on

DSC_0126    syria1