Isabel Lewis


In an Art Night co-commission with ATLAS Arts in Skye, Isabel Lewis poses the question, “What can we learn about love from lichen?” as a point of departure. Building on research and conversations with locally based collaborators, Isabel choreographed a series of guided walks across Skye — at Achnacloich, Scorrybreac, and Coille Ìosal, Braes. Led by the local agents — Lucy Cooke, a wild forager; Richy Carey, a composer; and Nick Hodgetts, a lichen expert, the walks wove a circuitous narrative about interspecies bonds and the potential for ecological attunement, brought together in a hosted occasion at Braes Hall on Saturday 19th June.

With sound, song, touch and taste “What can we learn about love from lichen?” tunes into more sensuous forms of knowing the landscape and the society between species — through taste, smell, song, sound — and thinking with lichen.

Below you can watch a film which draws together documentation from Isabel Lewis’ hosted occasion at Braes Hall, Skye. Images and film all by Winnie Brook Young. Please click here for the captioned version of this film.

In partnership with Compton Verney, Isabel Lewis drew on the choreographic scores developed in Skye to stage a new sound work at Compton Verney, in Warwickshire. This ran for the duration of Art Night – 18th June to 18th July. Compton Verney opened its grounds free to Art Night visitors.

Sound work from “What can we learn about love from lichen?” was broadcast as part of our online programme 22 June -24 June + as part of our marathon screening on Thursday 15th July.

Isabel Lewis’ 2021 Art Night project was curated by Helen Nisbet, Artistic Director of Art Night as a co-commission with ATLAS Arts, with support from Goethe-Institut. What can we learn about love from lichen? was produced in collaboration with local agents Lucy Cooke, Richy Carey, Nick Hodgetts and Producer Shona Cameron. Made in partnership with Compton Verney, with support from Goethe-Institut and Callie’s, Berlin.


Isabel Lewis (b.1981, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) lives and works in Berlin. Trained in literary criticism, dance, and philosophy, Isabel Lewis’ work takes on many different formats: from lecture-performances and workshops to listening sessions, parties (Bodysnatch), gardens, and what she calls “hosted occasions.” Her live art works have been presented contexts of contemporary art, music, dance, and theater by Kunsthalle Zürich (2020), Sharjah Biennial (2019), Roskilde Festival (2019), Berliner Festspiele-Gropius Bau (2018), Tate Modern (2017), Steirischer Herbst (2017), Ming Contemporary Art Museum Shanghai (2016), and Tanz Im August (2015) among others.