Sophie’s passion for her subject is palpable. She is clearly driven by finding new ways to explore the place of seeds as beginning of life and as the conceptual kernal of her expression as an artist. Sophie paints iconic seed and pod forms creating vibrant textures and abstract pattern representing such things as dispersal of seeds and the biodiversity of rain-forests.
The inspiration for these works has come from working alongside scientists researching at the Brisbane Botanical Gardens. In doing so her own research has contributed directly to their work. This goes to the heart of what Embiggen Books is about: the cross pollination of ideas and ways of thinking about problems.
The following text is from Sophie’s artists residency statement:
“Botany brings a fascinating and complex take on the structure and characteristics of myriad seed species – and deals with concerns for the conservation of species, the impact of population growth, feeding the world, maintaining biodiversity. For the artist to encounter these same species there are other factors at play. Given the study of plants can be divided into Plant Morphology and Plant anatomy – one dealing with externals and one internal structures, visually there are so many possible approaches. The Swiss artist Paul Klee (1879 – 1940), for whom the macro and microcosmos is one of the basic constants in his visual thinking, has played an influential role in my own thinking about nature, and more recently, seeds. Revisiting his ideas I was reminded how he viewed the growth of plants as an analogy for the creative process and based much artwork on the abstracting of botanical processes. Living forces had to be explored by Klee and botany was a rich field for that exploration. He speaks of the seed as the generator of life: “despite its primitive smallness, a seed is an energy centre charged to the highest degree. Its comprises ineluctable impulses that will give rise to entirely different and highly characteristic forms. Each seed is a spin-off of a certain species and a talisman for the regeneration of that species”. To pay homage to the seed for me as an artist is to consider the many ways of seeing, to negotiate all these various responses and to arrive finally at a way of making artworks that speak to the highest metaphor contained within the seed’s form….to ponder this animating life force…and honour the urge to become that exists in all living things and for which the seed is perhaps an ultimate symbol!”