Dot to Dot we are so excited to welcome Sophie Atkins as our artist in residence. Sophie has been using our space once a week as her studio to prepare for her exhibition 'The (Im)perfect Line'.
Sophie will be showing some love to the architecture of Letchworth, making new work inspired by our town. You can follow her journey here and on instagram @sophosptophos.
So who is Sophie you might ask and what has she been up to? Well we sat down for a chat about her work and about what she thinks of Letchworth so far....
Q: Sophie tell us a bit about you...
A: I was born and bred in Bedford, when I finished my studies I moved to Stockholm where I qualified as a specialist craft tutor in the theraputic use of art. In Stockholm I worked as an art educator. In 2015 I decided I wanted to return to the UK. Now I work as a freelance artist and run Beds Urban Sketchers.
A: My work has two strands: work on paper and textile printing. I draw my surroundings and the people in them, exploring line, rhythm and pattern. I changed from drawing in pencil, a medium that supported my perfectionist delusion - draw, rub out, draw, rub out – to using pen. As in life, done is done; a line in pen cannot be undone. In this way I have to commit to the line and accept it, wherever it lands on the page.
Q: You go out and about a lot to get your ideas, what is your favourite thing about travelling around drawing?
A: I like finding unexpected places and interest in the things we are used to just walking by. I find anywhere is interesting when you start drawing it. Drawing makes you really look.
Q: What are your favourite places to visit and draw?
A: In Bedford I love to visit the market because it has lots of movement and people interacting with the built environment as well as the frilly details in buildings. In Letchworth my favourite place is the Spirella.
Q: Can you tell me a bit about how you make your drawings and prints?
A: I choose to do blind contour drawing. My pen follows my eye's gaze. Those places where my eye lingers are accentuated by my hand, taking a line for a walk. In this way my drawings are an honest reflection of how I see the world around me. I design prints using the things that intrigued me when I was drawing. You will find me in my textiles with their imperfections, overlapping lines, missing ink and fingerprints in the paint. I want everyone to feel a connection to my process and ultimately to my view.
Q: One last question, what is your favourite quote?
A: Either Leonard Cohen when he sings "There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in" or the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi which, is the concept of beauty in imperfection, impermance and incompletion.
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