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sophia D. S. wright
… Muse, Artist, Poet …
AN ARTIST LIFE IN ITS COURSE
The Infancy of Art
Some people become uprooted. I was deracinated by birth. I used to be a dreamy daisy, I was now belonging to humanity. And my living family was irretrievably dispersed.
There was no way back to Sofia, no way out either.
So, I grew up near the city of Basel.
In this artful neighborhood, my dwelling was in a disheartening shambles, it was daunting, loud and haunted. Yet, at times, strikingly gracious. My sensitive and melancholic nature led me to the discovery of the beaux arts and literature very early on. I believe my first awakening to painting took place when I was three of age with a book dedicated to Michelangelo. Then, it was as if fairy muses were coming in a wink with sweet music, wonders and tales, legends and myths, fabulous illustrations …shaping clear-cut predilections for me : The Little Prince, The Nightingale and the Rose, all the magic mirrors still intact, the obscure language of the troubadours, Sheherazade and Rimsky-Korsakov, the vivid lines of medieval miniatures and Japanese prints, of Aubrey Beardsley and Ivan Bilibin.
I soon immersed myself in illustrated fictions of my own. As I often felt in exile and estranged from others, I turned to objects of joy and fading memories, picturing spring dolls over the Black Sea, a snake in roses, dreaming stories of roots, trees, flowers and birds … Those escapes to what might seem as an alternate here and now were felt as an invisible mending in my broken world, a thread of nightmares and lullabies opening to deep empathetic feelings : In the shadow of a bridge, I was a forlorn lover, up in a cherry tree, I was the daughter of the wind, of the blue wolf and the brown deer … And always, at one point, I was them all, shape shifter immersed in a shamanic journey where words were ballet dancers waiting for me to design their tutus and slippers.
A Florid Show At My Fingertips
And my personal show went on and on, florid, at my fingertips. And I learned. Old way, from life, from books, from dreams. Copies of masters, a few drawing lessons, frantic sketchings, free experiments, with sanguine, colored pencils, pastels, acrylic, all supported by an insatiable curiosity and the zeal of passion.
A Medievalist turned into a Digital Artist
Somehow, my everlasting ardor for writing and painting led me to the study of medieval French poetry, philosophy, and art history. With a Licentiate degree, I eventually became a researcher and University Lecturer, which allowed me to delve into the world of codices and expand my knowledge of iconography. I wasn’t sketching anymore, but the rigorous attention to detail and sophistication of medieval manuscripts, as well as the beautiful tales they tell, their exquisite depictions of otherworldly gardens landscaped as projections of the human psychê, their delicate symbolism were to me luminous illustrations in waiting. But I still had to find a perfect medium.
In 2014, at the favor of frequent journeys by train, I started painting digitally. Very soon it became clear to me that I found my medium of predilection for its versatility, fast and sophisticated dynamic, for its ability to keep the whole creative process in memory, the possibilities it offers of undoing and redoing back and forth, and adding layers without loosing any underlay as if the canvas was a magical palimpsest.
I haven’t spent a single day without painting since then.
I envision my work as a lyrical token materializing the common human experience and it naturally unfolds as an intuitive and sensitive expression of the psychê – roots grounded in the surreal, branching towards an everlasting quest for harmony, which bears the print of various cultural influences – long journeys from Europe to the faraway East & the Far West, & back and forth -, of old & modern love poetry, tainted memories, sweetest melancholies & Joy.
& so I build a serene maze, whence simple curvilinear & elegant designs surround & cloathe enigmatic figures floating in an otherworldly timeline.
My most elaborate compositions deal with photographic material used as tiny elements of a shattered mosaic that I piece distantly, alternately with layers of digital painting, & even gold or silver leaf, to reveal a subtle play between clear lines & sfumato, tangible fragments of life & a fantas(ma)tic symbolic repertoire that belongs to the lyrical intimacy of daydream. Something like a mystery unfolding : Stratification of emotions that I often mend with flowers for a cohesive instantané of the Soul.
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