Artist/Maker Resources

Artist/Maker Spotlight

Sophia Pauley / « back

Sophia Pauley is a painter, making bright abstract works, mostly on canvas and occasionally working with sculpture and spatial pieces. She has had a studio with ASC since January. She has a BA in Art from the Edinburgh College of Art and she will be joining the MA Painting cohort at RCA this September from 2021 – 2023. She has works being exhibited in an upcoming exhibition ‘Abstract Zeitgeist’ at the Biscuit Factory in Edinburgh opening Friday 10th September.

@sophia_pauley_art |

Is there a starting point for your art practice?

I may find the seed of an idea in the simplest of things. From random daily encounters with physical, tangible objects, such as signage, angular shapes on a building, road works and their shadows; or imagery in books and online sources. I select the most interesting shapes, colours and compositions, and manipulate them.

What artists have been your greatest inspiration?

An artist who I admire is Tess Jaray. I have only followed a snippet of her career in real time but I admire her work ethic, how she approaches her practice and enjoy following the changes and development within her paintings and prints. I love her exquisite use of colour, geometry and interpretation of space and her relationship with place within her work.

What was the first artwork of note you remember making?

The first piece of art I can remember painting, aged 5, was a seaside scene where I glued little shells I had collected to the bottom of the picture. I remember feeling so proud, but in retrospect, it was hideous. It seems I have always been attracted to environments near water and I think this is why I remember this piece so clearly.

Tell us about a piece you are currently working on?

At the moment I am having a period of experimentation before going back to study in September and currently working on a mini repetitive series, looking at how I can incorporate resin into the works without losing the texture of the raw canvas. This is proving difficult so far… I am currently testing out different clear gessos to achieve the effect of a poured watery surface.

How do you order your time?

I usually try to stick to a normal working hours/week routine but flexible depending on other jobs, deadlines and when working towards an exhibition. 

Could you tell us a bit about your endeavours into sculpture

I am predominantly a painter, though I love looking and researching sculptural works. Three dimensional qualities within my painting has become more of a focus, either upon the flat canvas or how the canvases are placed. In this new series I am enjoying using contrasting materials and multiple frames to explore sculptural space with paint. I am always drawn to bright tonal ranges, sometimes reflecting a digital quality. In the future I’d like to revisit the sculptural wood paintings I made during my residency at Pada in Barreiro last year. I loved repositioning these works in different contexts and hanging arrangements initiating a different sense of space in each environment and composition.

Which works are you next exhibiting and do these incorporate repetition?

I tend to make multiples of things as I enjoy the repetitive process of making as well as the flow of movement that entails as a result. Right now I am torn between two bodies of work to put forward for a group exhibition in Edinburgh; one being a diptych as part of a series of 8 canvases and the small resin multiples I have been experimenting with. Both small and large series repeat in imagery, colour and canvas size in alternative ways.

My heart is in making big work, as I really enjoy physically engaging with it’s process. It’s either that or a series of small work, I don’t really make anything in between. For the show in September travel logistics may be the deciding factor in this one!