Sophie Harris Taylor tells us about her photographs…
What is it about the Young Masters project that you are most interested in?
I think that all art and expression is led by and the result of things which have gone before, it’s rare that this is so openly embraced and celebrated. For me it has an extra significance since my work is so directly influenced by old masters.
Can you explain to us what your work is about?
In my work above all I seek to be truthful, sometimes brutally so. I want to examine and scrutinize the familiar and the natural, particularly people. In many ways this process puts these familiar forms on a pedestal, giving significance to what is often hidden in plain sight. To achieve this I am heavily influenced by the Renaissance painters, especially with their use of natural light. This means that everything in the image is harnessed and constructed from nature and reality.
In this series, Slight Wounds, I have applied these ideas to the female form, particularly with regards to their vulnerability and natural decay, without resorting to sensationalism or hyperbole. By removing the sitters faces I feel the work reveals some essence of their character which a portrait can in fact obscure.
Which artist/s are you most inspired by?
Carravagio, Velazquez, Nan Goldin, Helen van Meene, Sofia Coppola.
Can you tell us something about your background?
Born in London, studied BA Photography and MA Design at Kingston University.
What inspired you to become an artist?
As a teenager the camera became something of a comfort blanket, it brought people out of themselves and closer to me and the lens allowed me to see something that I felt perhaps others didn’t. In many ways this is still true today, but the idea of this being art didn’t come until much later.
If you weren’t an artist what would you be?
A failed artist.
What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
Having got to work and collaborate, meet and get to know such beautiful people.
What are your plans for the future?
I have recently begun to experiment in moving image, having directed a couple of music videos and would like to develop this further. I am also looking to exhibit and publish Slight Wounds as a complete series.