“For some, the topic of the environment can be tedious and hard to digest, nevertheless it is a subject of great importance. Through the use of paint I am hoping to address some vital issues that are going on around the world covering matters such as pollution, deforestation and animal welfare.”
Can you tell us a bit about your work Sophie?
“My work demonstrates how we have pulled nature out of its normal confines and into our homes whilst also highlighting the negative effect that we have had on the planet.
Humans have developed a beautiful relationship with plants bringing them into their homes and dedicating time to care for them. With the use of vibrant colours I have created work that celebrates this growing partnership, whilst also addressing issues on a more sombre note. I cannot help but feel saddened by some of the selfish acts humans have engaged in. As a result of intensive inbreeding some dogs are left to suffer, all because we want them to have the physical attributes that suit us. These animals are left facing problems such as breathing difficulties and a weak immune system.
My work also demonstrates the undesirable impact that we have on the wildlife outside our homes. Showing how some are ignorant to the fact that we share this planet with other beings as they engage in activities such as illegal poaching and fishing. This abuse is also seen when it comes to our environment; deforestation and air pollution are other problems that are also a result of human interference. To convey these matters I feel that the use of satire is important as it create a more enjoyable setting to engage in these topics.”
What about your influences?
“David Hockney and Liz Arnold are important influences when it comes to my work as both artists can effectively use satire in their paintings. What makes them so successful is their subtlety and this is something that I have tried to incorporate in my own work. Another significant factor in my work is the introduction of paintings by famous artists. Recognisable to many, these paintings are used to instantly connect with the viewer, giving the work a familiarity and creating a comfortable setting to absorb the topics inside.
Working mostly with acrylic on canvas I am creating paintings that mimic my drawings, which I feel is a great way of understanding perception. There are many ways of looking and I choose to view the world in a simple way. Gregory Crewsdon is another important influence that has helped me with this. Through his stunning photography I was able to understand the importance of angles and shapes within work, transferring this into my own paintings. I feel that this has helped me to create a more charming and less heavy body of works making them easier to digest.
The introduction of oil paint was a decision made to bring certain items forward and to give the paintings a variety of textures. I feel that it has been used successfully, avoiding the possibility of overworking the painting.”
How have you found your time at Brighton?
“As an artist I feel that I have progressed dramatically throughout the three years at Brighton Uni and have become confident in developing a strong visual language of my own. I am very grateful for all the guidance I have received over the past 3 years as it was vital for my development.”
What are you plans after graduation?
“I am looking forward to the future, in January next year I will be doing a six-week residency in Chongqing, a city in China. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity that I am looking forward to taking part in.”
Find out more about BA(Hons) Fine Art Painting