Sophia Pauley



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Pauley_'Boundaries', acrylic & spray paint on canvas, each 120 x 100.

'Water of Leith', acrylic on canvas: 170 x 529 cm, cellulose spray paint on steel: 48 x 66 cm, 95 x 145 cm, 63 x 168 cm.

'Void', acrylic on canvas, 90 x 75 cm

'Spatial Encounters', acrylic & spray paint on canvas, 170 x 855 cm

'Tangent', acrylic, gloss and spray paint on canvas, each pair 200 x 140 cm

'Spatial Encounters' Series, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 40 cm


I focus on the spaces in between the physical forms of the urban landscape, using a bright contrasting palette to accentuate the flowing shapes. The shapes, lines and composition of my work stem from architectural environments associated with water, especially swimming pools, lakes and the sea. My practice was inspired initially by my love of swimming. I recreate my experiences of particular places by recording, using drawing and photography, then remembering and re-imagining, both visually and emotionally. I aim to transfer these experiences into a more interactive environment for the viewer, initiating movement around the exhibited work as well the imagery within.
I usually construct a set of drawings, extracting the shapes and lines from initial sketches before starting to paint, looking at the spaces in-between the physical forms. I use this as a process to develop the most interesting compositions that I can translate into cohesive abstracts. More recently, I have enjoyed using a wider range of materials, including glosses, varnishes and spray paints to create different textures and to further insinuate movement. My finished work uses the media of painting on canvas or wood, screen printing and painted sculptural installations.


I grew up in Cardiff and moved to Scotland to study Painting at Edinburgh College of Art in 2014. I graduated in 2018 and was awarded the Artists’ Collecting Society Studio Award. This has enabled me to continue living and working in Edinburgh since with the studio space and funding provided after graduating. I am now making work and developing my practice at St. Margaret’s House Studios.


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