Photography by Curtis Mcnally
An odd feeling of nostalgia
Colour cascades through prisms and then carefully re-captured throughout the monochrome mindscapes that have become Chadwick’s work. Are these hallucinations? The trip isn’t hard, it’s in harmony, flowing through systems and following rules. For Sophie every new piece has its part to play in bringing beauty and peace not only to the audience but to the artist herself. Viewers will find in Chadwick’s work a comforting feeling of familiarity which spans cultures and genres from British architecture, music, vintage textiles, games design and world building whilst also referencing a history in print and process. We capture a small piece of what this artists has to offer and exploring deeper Sophie's motivations and desires for making.
"I took part in Inktober, in October 2017. I was creating a drawing a day using pigma micron pens, and I only had black – so every piece I made was going to be black lines on white paper. I really loved the contast between the paper and the marks I was creating and after the month ended, I continued to make more. It got to the point where I felt I’d exhausted certain patterns and needed to inject a new element – colour! I had a few awkward experiments with winsor and newton inks, painting pages bright yellow, pink and blue and then cutting shapes out to place next to my line drawings. The colours didn’t quite work for me and I realised that the colour needed to be more of an integral element which actually engaged with the drawings. Fortunately, at some point I discovered posca pens – which I now pivotal instruments in my work! The blue, pink, orange and yellow colour palette was a random discovery, one of which I’ve not yet tired of! There’s something really positive in the way the yellow sits next to the orange – the pieces wouldn’t have the same effect without those two sat next to each other. "
What is is about colour and monochrome thats kept you engaged and making work with it creatively?
"Over time, I’ve sectioned off 3 elements within my drawings, these are line, colour and negative space. I really enjoy balancing these three. It’s like a little game. How can I create something that’s balanced and harmonious, but also has an element that drags you in.
Form me I get a real feeling of references spanning decades of sci-fi and tech Logans run the movie to poster art from the 60-70;s to just modern day circuit board and games stuff, is any of it deliberate or just letting the viewers interpretations run away with them?
I never say to myself ‘I’m gonna make this and its gonna look like that’. It’s always purely random what I create, but I’m always channelling the same things. I take a lot of inspo from kids annuals/designs of the 60’s and 70s… and anything printed around that time. Colours were way more vibrant! As soon as you hit the 80’s, the print and paper quality is so different. Things get a bit glossier and less pigmented. A lot of the design from that time was oddly futuristic, so it all ties in."
You reference music allot In its significance can you talk more about that?
"Music is a big thing in my life. I don’t personally get moved by art pieces (with the exception of Kandinsky and Bridget Riley perhaps) but music really captures me. When I discover a new song or band that I like, it can really propel me creatively. I think if I were to compare my work to a band, it would definitely be New Order. All the darkness of Joy Division with the added colour of New Order.
If you we’re jettisoned across the universe in a space ship which you had to live on for the rest of your life and could only bring one art material to make work with what would it be and why?
Posca Pens! They write on everything.
What is it are you trying to say in your work?, do pieces contain specific meaning or is it derived entirely out of absract exercise?
I base a lot of my work on the idea of ‘portals’ and escaping reality. I have really bad anxiety, and the way I try to deal with it is through my artwork. Tedious and mind numbing activities that most people would consider their own personal hell, is my own personal heaven. Because I can get lost within the tedium, drawing line after line until it becomes meditative action. I have difficulty trying to express myself verbally, so what I cant say, I’ll channel through these works. I’m not making any bold statements, I literally just want to create work that kind of absorbs and transports the viewer elsewhere – because that’s what the art is to me."
What milestones have you set out for yourself and your future?
"This has definitely been the hardest question. More than anything really, more people to see my work. This year for me is to focus on getting my work out there, I'd love to have work made for a company like Lush or Ikea. I'm also planning a big move so that will be a step forward!"