Hampshire based wildlife sculptor Sophie always believed as a child that her love of the natural world would be expressed in her eventual career.
She was not wrong – and we are very grateful, as we can now admire her contemporary pieces, renowned for capturing the intrinsic essence of her subjects, their individual characteristics and distinguishing forms.
She grew up on her family's rare breeds farm in Kent, and has taken her childhood fascination with wildlife and nature to new levels, with a body of exceptional work which captures the spirit of the subject she has loved from such an early age.
Sophie is influenced both by the farm of her childhood and the beautiful countryside which surrounds her garden studio in Hampshire - the abundant wildlife gives her a fresh source of inspiration day after day, and she devotes her time to sculpting and recreating the animals she encounter.
Her immersion in her environment began early on in her life, and she spent lots of time sketching and sculpting the fauna that surrounded her. This practice was certainly of help in her later academic career, as she achieved a first class honours degree in figurative sculpture from the University of Arts in London.
On graduating Sophie was taken on as a resident artist at a renowned Hampshire based bronze foundry, and it was here where she discovered a love of bronze casting, a full understanding of the processes involved in working with the material, and the skill required by the craftspeople who work with it.
This residency gave Sophie a valuable knowledge of the foundry process, and she now often chooses to colour her work herself – finishing each piece with rich patinas, selected to compliment each subject and surface.
She says, “I feel a real affinity to bronze. I have always loved using bronze as a medium. I find although it’s a material that is hard, static and has permanence, it also has a life about it, it is changeable; it will change with the elements. I’m constantly excited about the capabilities of bronze. It has the beauty of being strong and durable. It is also surprisingly forgiving and malleable in that it can be manipulated, re-formed and welded. The modern advances in chemicals also allow the bronze to have any colouration or patination that you
could possibly think of. I find it hard to imagine the day when I tire of using this material. To me it has such endless scope and possibility.”
Whilst her deep respect and for appreciation for the lost-wax process* continues to this day, it is her first love - sculpting in clay, soft wax and occasionally plaster - which brings the bronze or silver medium to life.
Whether capturing the fragile stillness of a kingfisher or the tense vibrancy of boxing hares, each one is presented with an anatomical understanding, yet with a vivacity that is so difficult to encapsulate.
Sophie manipulates her materials to create elegant and aesthetically balanced works, which give away her astute eye for animal anatomy and forms that function. Such can be seen in dynamic pieces like Boxing Hares, and Heron.
She manages to sculpt with a harmonious balance of movement, elegance and kinetic poise - irrespective of the scale of the piece - and her incredible eye for the nuances of her material and an extraordinary skill for patination is evident in her highly collectable body of work. Evidence of her skill for vibrant and textured patination can be seen in the beautifully bright Kingfisher Curve.
Sophie first exhibited a collection in 2011, and has since exhibited numerous times to great acclaim.
Now sought internationally, she always creates her individual commissions with each client to produce sculptures which capture their shared vision.
Visit her page on our website to find out more and to browse her collection of available bronze sculpture.
*read more about the lost-wax process in our blog