A few months ago I blogged about Leo Uribe's artwork when I visited his studio during an upper mountains artist trail weekend. I visited again last weekend for another BMAN Artist Trail. This time, I was fortunate enough to see his partner and fellow artist Sophie Conolly's artwork.
Sophie's use of materials is sophisticated, ephemeral and charming. A scattering of rock-like totems made from used tea bag paper, stitched together appear like fragments of bone or early tools sculpted from some neolithic period.
Sophie's artwork encompasses a wide range of materials; from found natural objects from the garden to photo media and text. Several of her pieces employ cleverly disguised text in morse code made from plant material suspended on fine thread. They are deeply personal works, one of which has been generated from a letter from her father with Sophie's response to that letter, written in morse code and suspended over the top.
Also on display were spherical sewn orbs. At first glance, they looked like some kind of nougat confection, dusted in a sugary coating. Each sphere has been delicately stitched and takes on a distinctive character of its own.
As an artist who primarily uses materials found from nature, I was drawn to Sophie's aesthetic immediately. The fragility of form echoes our own transience and susceptibility to natural forces at play in our own lives. Sometimes hidden, sometimes overt.
Despite this sombre thought, the effect is one of beauty and an understanding of materiality.
Sophie Conolly is a freelance graphic designer and visual artist with a background in corporate marketing and communications. Growing up in Europe to French/English parents, Sophie has called Australia home since 2006 and is now settled in the Blue Mountains with her partner, visual artist Leonardo Uribe.
You can learn more about Sophie's art practice HERE