New Work by Sophie Myfanwy Wellan
28 March - 6 May 2011
“It’s about isolation
It’s about pain
It’s about separation
It’s about physical illness
It’s about isolation
It’s about mental illness
It’s about wanting to mend things”
Sophie Wellan, This Too Shall Pass
In the Gallery Sophie Myfanwy Wellan has created two part installation: in one part sliver-leaf covered seeds comprise the constellations of the Northern sky facing a swag of moonlight crocheted from silver wire and hung with glass vials of water and floating words, (Contact I & Contact II); in the other an isolated, blanket covered hospital bed connects to skeins of red wool in a sewing box. The blanket is embroidered with the same wool and the repeated phrase This Too Shall Pass. An extra work, a mirrored beehive entitled The City Has Fled (2008) is the only piece previously exhibited.
Sophie’s statement stresses her desire to express the ineffable through these surprising contrasts and fusions of the material:
"In my work I seek to deal with the metaphysical, working instinctively and constantly trying to marry the spiritual and the physical in an attempt to produce work which possesses a deeper truth and a dynamic tension. My work contains ideas of ritual, power, transformation and the remarkable connection between all things. Attempting to retain a sense of personal 'connectedness' through the language of materials and the spiritual nature of substance is a strong motivation in my work."
Sophie’s previous work has included both installations and sculptures in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and sites throughout the UK. Her latest works have been exhibited in the National Botanic Gardens of Wales, the Rhod Mill in Carmarthenshire and Kidwelly Industrial Museum. She studied at Falmouth College of Art and West Wales College of the Arts and now lives in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.
Feminine and fragile, the work of Sophie Wellan invites the viewer to enter her intimate universe through the decoding of a complex web of symbols and signs. Whether it is by gluing dead bees in the shape of feminine apparel, or imprisoning a red dress in the gaol of a ruined castle, Sophie expresses in highly dramatic, and often ephemeral, gestures an anxiety in which the viewer ends up inevitably recognizing himself. In that sense Sophie extends the representation of her private world, to a universal dimension, revealing a collective existential angst. The work of Sophie Wellan distinguishes itself, not only by its symbolic depth, but also by the uniqueness of the means. Without tying herself to any artistic trend or fashion, Sophie explores in her work the own nature of the materials she uses. A piece of wood, a bee, or a cloth are not used as bases for the artistic work, but as elements interacting organically with the work itself. The combination of the powerful identity of materials used with the ultra-sophisticated and precious settings of Sophie's works, eventually create a uniquely disquieting total experience.
Anwar Nassar, President of Trampolim
Organizer of the exhibition Novos Britanicos, British Brazilian Center, 2004