Saturday, 7 August 2010

Sophie Lisa Beresford

To the Cooper Gallery last night at the art school where I met someone whose work is, I think, worthy of your attention. I took a photo of a girl who was stood clutching a Sonic the Hedgehog toy. She then led me over to a corner at the back of the gallery, a hastily improvised picnic area where a couple of people sat making patterns with coloured plastic beads on the floor. She offered me milk and cookies as rave music rattled noisily from nearby speakers. The tableau was somehow Edenic in a thrown together, slipshod manner which was baffling and charming and the sort of situation that you sometimes find yourself in at art school. But I took a leaflet and read her text, which I found to be urgent, poetic and beautiful. Here's a short extract:

“I have always been fascinated by geometry and can feel it really deeply in my body. One of the finest examples that I have experienced all my life is the three stripes of Adidas. One day I was at a rave, while I was dancing around, these Adidas stripes were shining at me in the UV light and I asked them ‘What are the fundamentals of your power?’ and I got this answer, saying there is a zero point or a nothing and there is a plus and a minus. Everything comes out of that tension, which then collapses back in on itself forming a vortex which creates all things. Then I looked into the expansion of the number ‘3’ and drew loads. Recently I was watching something about Daoism, when the bloke explained what 3 meant this feeling washed over me and I realised that I’d learnt the exact same thing by asking the Adidas pants. I could see the universe everywhere and when he was pointing at the number 3 I could see the Adidas stripes…"

"I had always felt like an artist and have recognised myself as one. When I went to University I felt it was assumed that I knew nothing about art and that I wasn’t an artist and that I was going to be made into one. I sometimes felt like they overlooked who I already was and I found that problematic. I felt it wasn’t recognised that I kind of knew what I wanted and just needed a bit of nurturing…”

Her work strikes a chord with me because it seems real, true to its intent and is so painfully and magnificently sincere. Whereas I'm so saturated in media and irony that I don't even know what reality is anymore. When I see art such as that by Sophie Lisa Beresford I treasure it and so should you.

Pizza Shop Dance

Sophie Lisa Beresford's artist page at Workplace Gallery:

Me & Ben (3 Day Sesh)


She graduated in Fine Art from the University of Sunderland in 2008. This year she was awarded the Newcomer of the Year at the Journal Culture Awards.

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