SOPHIE ANNE WYTH / Q&A
As colorful as her work, Sophie Anne Wyth is a French Artist who resides in London,UK. She specializes in abstract painting and her work is collected throughout the world. Every stroke, every mark sparks a silent conversation with its audience. Each of her paintings are an expression of honesty, introspection and presence.
Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about how your interest in art all started? What’s your story? A: Art has been a part of my life even before I realised it. After my baccalauréat I decided to study fashion in Paris, which involved a year of art foundation. I pursued garment construction but kept drawing and painting for pleasure. I rediscovered art in 2010 through art therapy. I had to use colours and marks for no other purpose than to convey sensations and feelings, with no expectation of the outcome. I became obsessed with paint and retrained as a painter alongside my work. I kept in my practice the freedom of marks and the spontaneity of expression.
Q: You have an incredibly interesting series of art titled “Lockdown Series”, for those who don’t know much about it, could you tell us everything there is to know about this series? A: I made a lockdown series of 3 large paintings in my bathroom in May 2020. I found myself without a studio during the lockdown, and was frustrated not to be able to work with oils on big scales. So I improvised a studio in a part of my home where the smell of solvents and risks of stains could be managed. This resourceful yet challenging solution gave me an outlet to express through my paintings the frustrations of the lockdown as well as its joys and surprises. I felt alive for coming up with such a solution. The titles reflect the hardship and uncertainty of the times as well as hope for a possible change. (Towards better days, A taste of freedom and They said it would rain).
Q: With everything that is happening this year especially during this pandemic, how has that affected your art? What are the kind of challenges you are facing and how do you continue to find inspiration and motivation? A: Space has been the biggest challenge. To accommodate, beside my bathroom paintings, I worked on paper with acrylic, pastels and ink, (which are smell free) and created a series of small abstract works. I made them available for sale via my website as part of Artist Support Pledge and they contributed (and still do) to support me financially during this period, as finances was another challenge of this lockdown period.
Q: What was a defining moment in your art career? A: It might be happening now! After choosing fashion over art back in Paris, I moved to London and started my own alterations company for designer clothes. I directed the business for 12 years and made the leap to choose art over fashion and closed the company at the end of 2019. I now dedicate all of my time to the development of my art practice.
Q: What kind of projects are you currently working on? And what do you hope to achieve by the end of next year? A: I am going to France over the summer to work on extra large scales, bigger than I have ever done before. I want to use long sticks, brooms, to splash, to pour and experiment with paint and movements involving the whole body.
I also will keep working on the small mixed media on papers over the year, as I really enjoy making them and they inform and move forward my practice. I am eager to discover how working large will impact my work and to see in which direction it will send me.
By the end of the year I hope to have created a lot of new works with many outlets to show them.
Q: Why do you use oil paints instead of acrylics? What do you like more about oil paints? A: It is a very interesting question as it is a real frustration when I can’t use oil when painting on large canvases. I love its physicality. There is an enjoyment when applying it with a brush, or knife (or fingers!) that I don't get with any other mediums. It allows me to let go and forget about rationality to only surf on sensations.
Q: What advice would you have for aspiring artists? What factors do you think have contributed to your success? A: It is a mix of enjoyment and tenacity. In every path and career they are things that you enjoy doing and things that seem more tedious. If you are obsessed with the part that makes you happy, and would do anything to do more of that, then you are at the right place.
I would clarify for any aspiring professional artist that art as a career doesn't only involve making art. Art is a very large market, in which every artist needs to find their own space, alongside making art. And that makes it all the more exciting!