Sophie Woodrow (UK)
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 con-tinually 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’.
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