Emerging artist Sophie Conolly (b.1973) was raised in the south of England by Anglo-French parents, and lived in London and Paris before emigrating to Australia in 2006. Conolly completed a Diploma of Visual Arts with Distinction at St George College of Fine Arts in 2014, receiving a highly commended award for her work and being handpicked to exhibit in the public works Living Laneways exhibition in Rockdale.
She has since based her practise from her studio in the Blue Mountains exhibiting both locally and nationally in a number of group shows. In 2017 Conolly undertook an Environmental Art Residency run by Hayden Fowler and Bonita Ely.
In November 2017 Conolly held her first solo exhibition ‘Repaired Relations’ at Platform Gallery, Katoomba.
Underlying my practise is an examination of personal memory, grief, loss and healing, as well as a desire to reconnect with and validate past experiences in a way that is personally transformative. My process is careful, intuitive and responsive.
I use techniques which in the past had ‘women’s work’ connotations - sewing, embroidery, papier-mâché - work which has been performed quietly, meditatively and often privately by women over centuries, primarily to mend and repair.
I create multi-dimensional works using a range of materials that are symbolic and hold familiarity; organic and natural materials, fabric, thread, and reused tea paper. The subtlety and lightness of materials - such as paper and thread - counterbalance the darkness of my personal memories.