Plain Jane 7, 2010, Digital C Print
Regrouping with Sophie Lee and Barbara Howey
To celebrate our Partner BendInTheRiver’s current Regrouping exhibition at The Workstation in Sheffield, we are offering our CultureLabel collectors the exclusive opportunity to purchase the intriguing work of Sophie Lee, namely her Plain Jane series and the exquisite watercolour collages by Barbara Howey online. See more details on purchasing the works here – CultureLabel.com
Intrigued as we are about the workings of the art world and how these creative visions come to fruition, we asked Hilary Hammond, Director of BendInTheRiver a few questions about Lee and Howey:
On Sophie Lee’s Plain Janes:
CL: Where did you first come across Sophie Lee’s work?
HH: Sophie submitted a proposal for a BendInTheRiver Project last year – this was the last of three residency/fabrication projects we were running at X-church courtesy of a G4A grant from the Arts Council. She is currently the Slumgothic Resident artist at the venue.
CL: What is it about Lee’s Plain Jane series that particular interests you?
HH: The photographs have a timeless elegance to them, and a freshness. It’s a very direct camera gaze and a very controlled setting. Yet the girl looks surprised that she’s been found in each picture.
CL: Lee is a recent graduate – do you think it is important for you to support emerging artists?
HH: Absolutely. And Sophie is local to us; she presently lives in North Lincolnshire, which makes her a near neighbour. That’s very rewarding; it means we can work more closely with her and help her develop new work in a direct way. We are interested in working relationships with our artists.
Barbara Howey, Jalan Kayu, 2012, Collage and Watercolour, Framed
On Barbara Howey’s Collage Watercolours:
CL: Barbara Howey combines collage and traditional watercolour in her work – how does this relate to the subject matter?
HH: The collage elements are directly autobiographical; they are images of the places of her childhood in the south Pacific. For me, watercolour is a medium with a tradition. I used to paint watercolour landscapes outdoors with my mother when I was a child, and that noble amateur tradition is perhaps alluded to here. The paintings are at once highly decorative and nostalgic.
CL: Howey’s works combine landscape and abstraction – do you see her work as an exploration or challenge to how these two genres are generally seen as opposed?
HH: I think landscape watercolourists have often strayed far beyond direct representation. Constable’s skyscapes are wonderfully abstracted. Watercolour is a medium that fights against linear constraint, somehow; the water forces the pigment to go where it will. Perhaps in the same way nature fights against the impingements of man. Buildings and settlements are constructed, have a lifespan, and are then subsumed back by their verant surroundings.
Take a look at the works available from Sophie Lee’s Plain Jane series and Barbara Howey’s collages here.