Switch - oil pastel on paper, 21cm x 29cm, 2019.
Sophie Birch, (b. 1992) lives and works in London. She graduated from the postgraduate programme The Drawing Year, at The Royal Drawing School (2019) and previously studied BA Painting at Wimbledon College of Art (2014).
Drawing is Sophie’s point of departure, a way of collecting in a visual diary what she sees, remembers and imagines as it occurs. She then combines these drawings in her oil paintings, forming tensions by choosing those that contain conflicting ideas. Drawing from both interior and exterior subjects enables Sophie to describe the connection between physical and felt experience. Using the language of sun-bleached posters, washed denim, and fading felt-tips, she builds multiple translucent films of colour to then scrub back into, excavating earlier stages of light.
Storytelling mediates Sophie’s perception; her images often return to motifs of paired figures, pictured in intimate acts of togetherness – their activity undecided. Figures fight or dance, gift or scold, jump or climb – paused on thresholds. Articulating amorphous encounters allows Sophie to create points of emotional ambivalence. Gates, screens, and borders frame the spectacle of viewing in her painting, reminding us that we are looking in on a moment removed.
Recent group exhibitions include; Lovers Lane, Oceans Apart Gallery (Manchester); Soft Boundaries, FitzRoy Modern Art (Norfolk) and cutting at lemons for freckles, Skipping’s Gallery (Great Yarmouth); she exhibited her solo show Old Friends, at The London Arts Board (all 2021).