Sophie Watson, Suggested Viewing

Sophie Watson describes her small studies as ‘anti-portraits’. Instead of representing a specific person, their character and expression, here the viewer is teased with a hint of profile, the curve of the jaw, nose and cheekbone. These figures are changeable, their identities suggested and shifting; bold limited colours pull them apart into arrangements of shape, colour and texture.

Watson has been painting with gouache for ten years and remains interested in the possibilities of the medium. In recent years, her work has featured elements of collage as a way of bringing a malleable playfulness into her practice. Watson lives in Auckland and balances art and craft tutoring with illustration work and her own artistic projects. A restless experimenter by nature, her varied interests feed into a diverse practice which encompasses painting, drawing, printmaking, paper craft, collage, 3-D works, textile art and making zines. These disparate media are united through a characteristic wonky charm, deft touch and vibrant, considered colour palettes.

This month, Sophie Watson was awarded a Studio One Toi Tū 2018/19 Creative Studio Residency which will assist her in completing two illustrated book projects. Her zines have won ‘Best of the Fest’ awards at the Auckland Zinefest and her comics were featured in Three Words: An Anthology of Aotearoa/NZ Women’s Comics.