PROFILE: Sophie Lisa Beresford | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Sunderland-based artist Sophie Lisa Beresford uses her considerable creative imagination to visually represent what she calls “council estate culture”. The inventive artist’s work will be on display at Abject Gallery in Newcastle from Friday 10th-Saturday 8th September as part of the gallery’s Breeze Creatives Experimental Studio residency.

Key to Sophie’s practice is an over-arching theme of regional pride, her work espouses the benefits culture in the wider sense can have on people. “My experience of my own culture is that we have no time for creativity because we are supposed to get on with getting a ‘proper job’ and working full time for a pittance doing some shit we have no interest in to survive. There is so much creativity in people it is a travesty to see it being locked away, so I’m interested in reconnecting people to their creativity and dreams and supporting them to put it/them into action.”

The visual element of the exhibition takes influence from the use of symbolism used to represent culture’s visual language – from Adidas stripes to the Lacoste crocodile emblem and the tree of life used on Timberland shoes. “Expect lots of velvet, sportswear and trippy shizzle and geometry.”

Expect lots of velvet, sportswear and trippy shizzle and geometry

Sophie believes that using these recognisable symbols allows her to connect with a wider audience, particularly in a gallery setting, but it’s the everyday encounters that have inspired her the most. “From school kids enjoying my costumes and being inspired to make their own, to wearing ‘mad’ outfits at raves and inspiring other women to be bold while chatting in the bogs. I take pleasure in the effects of my self-expression and art on others. In accepting our own brilliances we can share them and support each other in creating a stronger culture to pass on to the next generations. For me, becoming an artist was unheard of and being anything more than an employee was considered unlikely and dangerous, and therefore there was no conversation or education in creating your own work from your talents or brilliances. Now I stand here as an artist I can break down the paradigm that everyone must be ‘proper job employees’ and show that you can in fact create your own work from your talent and passion.”

Having previously been an outspoken proponent of Makina (hardcore techno, originally from Spain, with a strong following in the North East), Sophie will for the first time be performing alongside her partner DJ Infinite. “Music is such a powerful communication tool, it communicates with the subconscious and literally puts ideas and commands into your deeper mind! Therefore we can use this powerful tool to heal, uplift and empower.”

Sophie believes everyone is capable of creativity and effecting cultural change. “Go at it like a warrior…any chance you take, positive step you make, support you give, cultural value you share strengthens us!”

 

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