Sophia Hewson – Artist

Sophia Hewson from Melbourne is an up and coming artist in the Melbourne scene, here is her website and interview… Feel free to comment on the work, interview and or Artist.


Are you currently represented by a gallery?
Yes, Lindberg Gallery in Melbourne. They are great. Last year they let me paint the entire gallery space black.

What are the main medium/s you work in…
Oil paint with resin on either board or canvas.


African migrant

Oil and resin on board

108 cm  x  76 cm

What are you currently working on?
I’m working towards a joint show this September at Lindberg Gallery with artist Mia Salsjo. I’lI be doing some paintings and some sculptural work. I’m feeling very free at the moment within my practice. I hope the paintings in September will relay this sense. It’s a sense that began around the time I started the dolphin painting (There should be a book written on Italian men).

Why are you an artist?
It seems to me artists need to get something out of themselves, I suppose they call it expression, but I don’t think it’s as pleasant a process as that, perhaps it is like that quote, a kind of exorcism. I think also for me there is a need to try and get down to the core of things, and there is a freedom I associate with being an artist or at least the possibility of a freedom.


There should be a book written on Italian men

Oil and resin on board

140 cm  x  180 cm

Your art education was…? I studied an undergraduate and an Honours Degree at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, it was a very conceptual school. There are so many ways to approach understanding your own work, this was the focus of the degree, it could be disorienting, but the teachers at the VCA are remarkable, they’re artists too and they were lateral minded, they were very receptive and talented.

What is your earliest memory of art?
My earliest memory of anything actually is drawing with coloured chalk on the pavement down at Lorne, I was about 3.


The Armour

Oil and resin on board

133 cm  x  133 cm

How important is the clarity of concept to you, prior to starting an artwork?
For me There is an incomplete concept present before a painting, which develops during the process of making the work (photo-shoot, painting etc). It develops further after I have finished the work (when I can step back and gain a more detached understanding). So I think the concept of a work gathers momentum as it materialises, it changes and develops throughout this process. But also each painting is different, some do just seem to appear out of nowhere, and others are mulling, completed and understood in my head for a year before I make them.

How important do you think craftsmanship is to artistic creation?
Despite my own use of a refined technique I don’t think craftsmanship is necessarily important at all, it can be a beautiful way to lure someone into the conceptual space of a work, but there are many other ways to do this. I just saw Miroslaw Balka’s “How it is” instillation at the Tate. It was a huge elevated metal box, well ‘box’… it was bigger than a warehouse, and pitch black inside, approaching it and eventually venturing inside was like death and birth all at once, like an alien contact, absolutely overwhelming, and those sensations had little to do with craftsmanship.


Tailed emperor

Oil and resin on board

58 cm  x  52 cm

Some say the lifespan of many “artists” post education is about five years, any thoughts on that?
The only people as broke as artist are poets, and artist work hard, most of my peers work long days 3 or 4 times a week in arbitrary jobs, with every skerrick of the rest of their time spent in the studio. Doing well in the first 5 years out of study for an artist is breaking even. What recognition there is, is dealt out in bursts, never evenly distributed. So its unlikely you’ll get anyone but yourself to assure you that you should be doing this. A lot of good artists are dealing with frequent rejection.


In my language. There are no rules. There is no need to know, anything.

Oil and resin on board

109 cm  x  140 cm

If you could have any piece of artwork in your personal collection, what would it be and why? It would be a Van Gogh, and then I would sell it and buy a house, and a studio. I would make my work uninterrupted.


Hero and Leander

Oil and resin on board

105 cm  x  138 cm

What is the most unexpected response you’ve received from a viewer of your work? Its very diverse, some people are very unaffected, some people cry, a few have admitted to arousal, once a work was destroyed. I like the tears best, I could always have more tears.


Goodnight Atala

Oil and resin on canvas

216 cm  x  216cm

Are there times of the day when you prefer to do your work?
I need to have an uninterrupted 10 hours of day light. That’s best but once I’ve started an arm or a leg I have to finish it before the paint dries, so I often end up in the evenings with a torch in one hand. I can angle a torch so that it wont give off a reflection.


Before Atala was born I was her

Oil and resin on board

185 cm   x  99 cm

How many artworks do you produce in a year?
I make about 6 large works. So that’s about 2 months a painting, but really a lot of that 2 months is spent conceiving an idea, doing a photo shoot for the painting, editing, writing applications and artist statements, documenting my work etc.

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Compiled and edited by Steve Gray © 2009+

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5 Responses to “Sophia Hewson – Artist”

  1. corina on April 15th, 2010 7:31 am

    Congratulations!….i belive your work is amazing!!! Im happy that i found this page!
    hugs and greetings from Romania,

  2. Christian on June 6th, 2010 3:57 am

    Hey there! the photo in which you appear atracted my atention i like it very much, and then i saw you have another comment from romania! 😀 i’m from romania as well
    best wishes

    and the one with the pig… awesome. i have some gruesome pictures with a poor dead pig 🙁

  3. Contemporary Visual Artist Interviews : Art Re-Source on June 12th, 2010 8:57 am

    […] Sophia Hewson […]

  4. Frankie on September 5th, 2010 11:53 pm

    I was brought to tears at Sophia’s solo exhibition, “Solstice: City of the Godless”, and reading this interview whilst seeing Sophia’s paintings has brought me to tears again. What an incredible talent this young woman is!

  5. Monica Hailes-Paku on November 2nd, 2010 6:31 pm

    Sophia Hewson, you are astounding. You are a contemporary Caravaggio. I love your work. I am working towards my Bachelor of Visual Arts and Media at NMIT in Nelson, N.Z. and you are an inspiration to me. I am 49 and a mother of four primary school children and you are inspiring them as well. I wish you every success.

    Sending love,

    Moni and family