Sophie Thompson Sculptor
Sophie graduated from Exeter College of Art and Design, Plymouth University in 1992.
Sophie has continued to be inspired and fascinated with animal forms. Whilst working part time as a groom she spent many hours studying the anatomy and characteristics of the horses that surrounded her.
One of Sophie's favourite outings growing up would be a trip to a wildlife park or a zoo to study and sketch the personalities of the various creatures. This has given Sophie an insight into the animals that she is trying to capture in her work.
Sophie grew up in a rural area and the intrigued shaped pieces of scrap metal found on local farms inspired her to utilise and recycle the apparently redundant materials which surrounded her. For example, component parts include scythes which become birds' tails, chain becomes the shaggy coat of a sheep or goats and hedge cutter blades become crocodile teeth. The form of one piece of metal can be the inspiration for a whole series of work.
Sophie is particularly interested in capturing movement. From the dynamics of a rearing horse to the gesturing of a goat stretching to reach the leaves of a tree. Sophie has worked with a diverse range of scales from the monumental to the more domestic, enjoying and relishing the various challenges that this creates.
To transform the scrap Sophie begins with a skeleton, then either leaves the forms open. perhaps like a 3D drawing, or builds the sculptures up in layers of 'flesh and muscle', resulting in a more solid form. Sophie welds the pieces together, sometimes using the molten metal that is create in the process to give texture, then grinding and polishing some areas to enhance the surface. Finishes include natural rust, which is sometimes lacquered, and sometimes a chemical process is used no neutralise the rust and turn it black.
Sophie works both to commission and for exhibitions throughout the region. Pieces are now in private collections all over the world. Past commissions have ranged from life sized horses to exotic and domestic creatures and mythical beasts.