Bird heads stems from a group residency Sophie collaborated in at Dove Studios in Butleigh, Somerset. The sculptural work developed into a series of photographs named Birdman, which accompanied the masks during Somerset Art Weeks 2019.
The work explores ideas of play, using masks as a focus. After reflecting on previous experience of working with children, Sophie explored how she could incorporate play into her artwork. Folk art, carnival culture and mythology became an inspiration.
Masks have different associations. On one hand wearing a mask conceals a person’s identity and can create a way of hiding. On the other masks can be used to create a new persona in performance and celebration.
An ongoing interest in carnival culture the play between themes of darkness and light, that can be both celebratory and joyful yet also dark and surreal.
The inspiration of birds as a subject grew from observation and an interest in their many different associations including omens, spirituality, flight, freedom, migration, peace, and death.
Medium. Photographs: Archival inkjet prints, originals captured on film. Bird heads Sculptures: Papier mâché, exterior varnish, acrylic paint, card, rope.