Maker in Focus
Sophie WoodrowMaker in Focus
05 November - 12 January 2014
Sophie was drawn to working with clay from an early age. Born in Bristol in 1979, she graduated in 2001 from Falmouth College of Art with a BA in Studio Ceramics. Since then she has refined an intricate labour-intensive technique and a highly distinctive visual language. Each piece is hand-built, involving coiling, incising and impressing to create a delicately textured surface.
Her work has been informed by an interest in the Victorians as the first generation who chose to define nature in opposition to what is human. In a spirit of wild curiosity, tinged with fear, the Victorians idolised nature, ‘packaging’ it into highly romanticised, palatable works of art. Our modern-day understanding is very different, so that we now interpret much Victorian art as ‘unnatural’ or kitsch.
Pursuing an interest in natural history, Sophie has looked particularly at our continually shifting theories of evolution. Her work has been inspired by the enormous misinterpretations of geological evidence made by the Victorians, often with bluff self-confidence. She regards these misinterpretations as a game of Chinese whispers played over millennia.
Sophie’s sculptures are not visitors from other worlds, but the ‘might-have-beens’ of this world. She seeks to assemble creatures from the strange notions of what we define as ‘nature’ and of each other as people – as ‘other’.