Sophie Bray’s artworks evince feelings of immersion and the connectedness one senses by the sea. Her painting, drawing and analogue photography practice reflects upon the beauty and fragility of the natural environment.
She explores the physicality of water, wind and salient currents, which create the shifting tides and atmospheres over the tense and captivating point between land, sea and sky. She enjoys exploring tensions in her work, which pull between: abstraction and representation, gestural marks and smooth blended surfaces, monochromatic palettes and vibrant coloured grounds.
Born in Sydney (1986) Bray has lived and worked in Los Angeles as well as in Sydney. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (HONS1) and Masters of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales and was a recipient of the University of New South Wales Honours Scholarship, The Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence, The Australian Postgraduate Award (2008-2010), The Toyota Emerging Artist Encouragement Award and the William Fletcher Foundation Scholarship for drawing. Since 2004, she has held 6 solo exhibitions and has been included in 24 group exhibitions. Her work has been acquired by the Morton Bay Art Collection and the Moran Art Foundation. Bray’s work was published in a book of international contemporary artists, Super Modified: The Behance Book of Creative Work. She exhibited in Paris as part of the Paris Drawing festival at Galarie ALB, and has been a finalist in the Ravenswood Australian Art Prize, The 20000 Lethbridge Small Scale Art Award, The JADA, The Sunshine Coast Art Prize, The Hazelhurst Paper Awards, The Waverley Art Prize and The National Emerging Art Prize.
- National Emerging Art Prize Finalist, Michael Reid Art Bar
- Waverley Art Prize Finalist, Bondi Pavilion
- Her work has been acquired by the Morton Bay Art Collection and the Moran Art Foundation
What medium do you work with, and why have you chosen them?
Oil on Linen, Pencil on paper, Analogue Film, Watercolour painting.
How does your artwork get from initial concept to exhibition stage?
I work en plein air sketching in pen, pencil and watercolour. Embedding colours, impressions and light effects in my memory. These sketches become touchstones for my studio paintings created in oil paint on linen. I like to paint on a smooth to medium grained linen, using the texture of the linen to create subtle light effects. I tend to work in a series or families of paintings. Currently I am creating: monochromatic calligraphic paintings of the ocean’s surface, tonal nightscape paintings on bright vibrant grounds as wells as an experimental analogue photography project using light sensitive emulsion on ephemeral objects.
Can you tell us a little more about your creative working environment/studio?
I work in the beautiful land of the Dharawal people, South of Sydney. I enjoy the national parks, beaches and green landscape of the Australian Coast. Moving back from the US provided me with a fresh lens upon return to the Australian environment, I had missed the sounds of the birds and the colours of the Australian bush. I like to paint along the shoreline at the Cape Solander cliffs, hidden among the rocks at Blackwoods Beach and down the Port Hacking river on the edge of the National Park. I then return to the studio with sketches and memories where I primarily create works in oil paint.