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Sophie Firth - Visual Artist

My practice explores a sense of place, identity, and the traces of intergenerational stories.  I have an inherent interest in Human Geography (my first degree) and I am influenced by the question posed to me, throughout my life:  ‘Where are you from’?  

Born to English and Indian-Kenyan parents, growing up in an English environment but travelling widely, my identity is transitory.  In addressing our interconnected experience; ephemerality, tactile and embodied mark-making characterise associative processes and materials. Landscapes and the people and their stories within them, provide inspiration and clues to my sense of place, and this topic has relevance today with current global migration and a closed-off Britain.

Current works :

Recently I have been exploring whether intergenerational experience is embodied in our hands - whether we have inherited forms of doing and making, that help create our sense of identity and belonging.  I have been using drawing, sculpture, plaiting and patterns.

While discovering how to tie a sari, I realised a new language, of the hand - a complicated, foreign and delicate language that I am privileged to be a part of and that I am trying to understand.  
The images created are perhaps recognisable to the viewer (as hands), and unrecognisable (what are they doing?).

I think everybody’s cultural inheritance and embodied knowledge creates different individual answers to ‘Where are you from?’.  By recognising this, it hopefully goes toward helping to allow us to accept individuality rather than exclusion.

see Touching the past.

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