Exhibition 13 October - 6 November
Repaired Relations opening night party Friday 13 October, 5.30 - 7pm.
“I’m drawn to materials that remind me of my childhood,” says Sophie Conolly, a trained visual artist from Wentworth Falls. “I am sewing to repair and connect the past to the present; the good memories with the bad.”
Sophie uses materials that offer familiarity, from which she draws comfort as she simultaneously processes confronting themes.
In a labour-intensive process, Sophie creates installations from materials including fabric, thread and reused paper, such as small paper ‘memory stones’ and long strands of Morse code, that spell out childhood memories such as the poems her father used to recite with her.
“I grew up in the country, so using natural materials such as seeds and leaves keeps me grounded in that memory. I choose materials that have a connection to my past - tactile, textured fabrics, or photos and letters that feel symbolic and that recall a pivotal time in my childhood,” she says.
“I use techniques which have ‘women’s work’ connotations - sewing, embroidery, papier-mâché. This is how I work - quietly and privately - and as the process has evolved themes have emerged: of childhood loss, emotional isolation and mourning.”
Work labelled as ‘craft’ has long been excluded from fine art galleries – particularly if the work is by a female artist. With this exhibition Platform is seeking to elevate work like Sophie’s as the art form it truly is; steeped in artistic process, history and meaning embedded in the work.
“The soft, cushioning, lightness of the materials helps to counterbalance the darkness of my personal memories,” says Sophie. “I’m exploring memory and time, and both of those things are light and fragile, which in turn creates a lightness and vulnerability in the work.”
Through her exhibition Repaired Relations, Sophie draws on past experiences in order to heal personal wounds and find closure – themes that are sure to resonate with audiences from all backgrounds.
Come along to the opening of Repaired Relations on Friday 13 October, 5.30-7pm.