SOPHIE McKAY KNIGHT has been working as a professional artist since 1997, when she graduated from Edinburgh College of Art and University with an MA (Hons) in Fine Art. Since then she has exhibited widely, taken on commissions and worked in various arts jobs to support her practice. She currently works out of a WASPS studio in Edinburgh, as well as Edinburgh Printmakers Workshop and a shed in her garden.
“My work has always been based on the figure, and I have used friends, family, strangers, film stills and historical photography as inspiration. I am very interested in storytelling, everyday magic, and the blurring of zones, and try to convey this in my work. Other things which inspire me are myths and legends, illusion, memory and history – things which I believe can survive through time.
Over the past two years I have been developing a technique which combines painting and printmaking, working in alternate layers until the desired effect is achieved. I will often add some drawing to the final piece, making my work wholly mixed media. I also work on canvas, mostly using acrylic.
The use of text has also become an important part of my work, and more recently I have been using it to form the printed layers of my pieces. Sources for the text include lists, letters, doodles, stories and newspaper articles. I am particularly interested in handwriting and have been collecting peoples’ lists and letters for some time. During the layering process, words and phrases often crop up in unexpected places and I enjoy the how this enables me to manipulate seemingly random juxtapositions. However, as the text is often deeply trapped in between figurative imagery, you may have to look quite hard to find the hidden message!”