Ahead of her exhibition at Olsen Irwin, Sophie Cape has been featured on the cover of the latest Artist Profile. An in depth interview by Owen Craven, and with photography by Daniel Shipp, ‘Getting the art fix’ reveals Sophie’s art practice as something of extreme personal importance.
Sophie became a full time artist after having to retire as a professional athlete. She quickly found art to be the perfect replacement for the rush of cycling and downhill skiing, becoming acutely interested in the art making process despite it’s obvious differences to extreme sport.
“I was getting the same adrenaline rush from art that I got as an athlete. I became addicted to that through the art process, even though it was a completely different beast altogether.” – Sophie Cape in Artist Profile.
Dusty Figment, 2015, oil, acrylic, ink, charcoal, carborumdum, graphite, bitumen, soil, bone on canvas, 150 x 200cm
Far from being just a substitute, making art would also prove to be a significant outlet of expression and an avenue for Sophie to exercise her love for being in the outdoors. Her practice is still intensely physical, with the artist talking about the way she uses her own body as a tool within the canvas. Her love of tactility, line and the mark-making act reveal her process to be closely linked with the limits of herself.
Because of the mental and physical energy expended in creating an artwork, for Sophie each one is imbued with its own story and a memory of the place it was made in, and of how the artist was thinking and feeling at the time. Indeed such is the intensity of the creation process that Sophie cannot work with others watching.
In the act of making an artwork, all these personal thoughts and emotions are tied together to a particular location and the opportunity for chance to occur in that place. Whether it be through the materials she uses, the way these are applied or changing weather conditions, spontaneity is also an important part of Sophie’s practice.
Perhaps its the way in which making art allows Sophie to combine all these things together, bringing them hurtling down towards an end point on canvas, that makes it an addictive experience and something that Sophie is highly successful at.
Sophie Cape: In the heart of the mountain where no words are spoken
Opening Saturday 21 February 2 – 4pm
Exhibition 18 Feb – 8March
63 Jersey Rd, Woollahra