Sophie Wake is a contemporary British artist, known for her animal figure paintings. Exploring human emotion through non-human forms, her pieces invite us to inquire into the nature of our own emotions through the tender expressions of her animal-like beings.
Graduating from Brighton University, with a BA Hons in illustration, Sophie worked for over twenty years as a freelance illustrator, before moving towards a fine art practice that would respond to the rhythms of meditation that fill her life as a Buddhist practitioner. Creating images of pre-linguistic forms, Sophie explores intimate connections between living beings, reaching inward to capture the beauty of raw emotion. This is expressed in the intensely human eyes that stare out from her liminal beings, encouraging the viewer to transcend the image and arrive at self-reflection and introspection.
Working from her studio in Brighton, Sophie favours oil on canvas or gouache on paper, building up colour, stroke and texture to create depth and dynamism. Often infused with a quiet, haunting quality, the paintings reflect on the intangible, revelling in small mysteries, while collapsing conventions of space and time.
In 2016 Sophie took part in Brighton’s Artists Open House, a cornerstone of the Brighton festival and, in 2017, she was shortlisted for 3 Artists Open House Awards, winning Best Newcomer. In 2018, Sophie’s painting HERD was selected for the Royal Academy’s 250th Summer Exhibition, where it appeared in Grayson Perry’s Yellow Room.
Sophie won Best Open House in AOH2019 festival in Brighton for her inspirational solo show.