Sophie was drawn to working with clay from an early age. Born in Bristol in 1979, she graduated in 2001 from Falmouth College of Art with a BA in Studio Ceramics. Since then she has refined an intricate labour-intensive technique and a highly distinctive visual language. Each piece is hand-built, involving coiling, incising and impressing to create a delicately textured surface.
Her work has been informed by an interest in the Victorians as the first generation who chose to define nature in opposition to what is human. In a spirit of wild curiosity, tinged with fear, the Victorians idolised nature, ‘packaging’ it into highly romanticised, palatable works of art. Our modern-day understanding is very different, so that we now interpret much Victorian art as ‘unnatural’ or kitsch.
Pursuing an interest in natural history, Sophie has looked particularly at our continually shifting theories of evolution. Her work has been inspired by the enormous misinterpretations of geological evidence made by the Victorians, often with bluff self-confidence. She regards these misinterpretations as a game of Chinese whispers played over millennia.
Sophie’s sculptures are not visitors from other worlds, but the ‘might-have-beens’ of this world. She seeks to assemble creatures from the strange notions of what we define as ‘nature’ and of each other as people – as ‘other’.
Sophie has also worked on a separate line of creations, including decorative mirrors, with Oliver Hayles. These can be seen on www.eddyandgrice.com.
- An excerpt from Human/Nature: an exploration of urban conceptions of the natural world and their expression in contemporary creative practice by Catherine Mary Rose Oddie
- Beautiful Freaks: an interview with ceramicist Sophie Woodrow, written by Ursula Glitch for Amelia's Magazine.
- Q & A with Sophie Woodrow, for The Art Circus.
Born in Bristol in 1979.
BA Hons in Studio Ceramics at Falmouth College of Arts, 1998 - 2001.
2012 - Ceramic Show Case, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield.
2012 - Craft Gallery, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth.
2012 - “When I Woke”, Llantarnam Arts Centre, Cymbran.
2012 - “Make Believe Make!”, Portsmouth Museum, Portsmouth.
2011 - “Wild Thing”, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth.
2011 - “Close to Nature”, Brewery Arts Centre, Cirencester.
2011 - Podium Programme, Axis Arts Centre, Portsmouth.
2011 - “Inside Out” Jamaica Street Artists at Royal West Academy, Royal West Academy, Bristol.
2011 - Origin Contemporary Craft Fair, Old Spitalfields Market, London.
2010 - Great Northern Award Show, Corn Exchange, Manchester.
2010 - “Birds of a Feather” joint show, Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool.
2009 - Show Case, Lakeside Art Centre, Nottingham.
2008 - ‘Bristol Contemporary Open’, Paintworks, Bristol.
2008 - ‘Edgecentrics’, The Williamson Tunnels, Liverpool.
2007 - ‘Wanderkammer’, Blue Coat Display Centre, Liverpool.
2006 - ‘Her Private Theatre’, A1 Studios, Sheffield.
2004 - 2005 - ‘Genius’, Coppola, Sheffield.
2004 - ‘What’s New’, Coppola, Sheffied.
2003 - 2004 - Winter Show, Hotwells Gallery, Bristol.
2003 - ‘Retox’, Contemporary Art Festival, Bristol.
2002 - 2003 - Winter Show, Market Mews, Cornwall.
2002 - ‘Ceramica’, Contemporary Ceramics Festival, Cornwall.
2001 - Summer Open, Truro Museum, Cornwall.
2001 - New Designers, London.
2009 - A21A, Artists in Colleges Programme.
2009 - Manchester Exchange Prize, awarded at Greater Northern Contemporary Craft Fair.
2008 - Awarded the Arts Matrix and Arts Council mentoring programme.
Sculpting and Handbuilding by Claire Loder for Bloomsbury.