Sophie Vallance's practice as a painter is an intense examination of the experience of moving through life. One day it’s a joke with her greatest fears and inadequacies, the next, a shouting match before she gives up and goes to bed.
Taking the form of large square canvases rich with naive, representational symbolism, her practice is charged with immediacy: the act of making is an urgent search for relief. Characterised by quick flurries of activity, and long periods of looking in between, her decision-making process is meditation like in nature, and actively challenges the need she has to control the world around her. Painting becomes an exercise in being present, an antidote to rigidity and restraint, a starving of the parasite.
Encounters are founded in reality, and brought to life in imagination, with the existence portrayed in the paintings hovering somewhere in-between. Anxious and irreverent, cocky and self-examining, whimsical and tense, these divergent positions are woven into the very core of each canvas. Layers sit atop layers, the presence of old choices peek through the surface, sloppily covered, they exist as part of the old and the new work. Drawing heavily from her personal zeitgeist, she salvages phrases from songs, conversations, films or books, and paint words directly into the imagery of the canvas, a personal nod to the moment they were made.
Although self-reflectivity is centric to the work Vallance makes, this exchange is also greatly informed by external dialogues which are already happening in the world around her. Vallance's own voice and praxis exists between feminist practices, cathartic art making, processes of confession, folklore and storytelling, and historical events,and she ruminates on these sources whilst engaging in both personal examination, and painting alike.