Sophie Bower’s current practice focuses on creating participatory structures that encourage herself and/or others to notice thoughts or memories that might otherwise go unnoticed or be edited out.
It is the process of each investigation that tends to become the work… an engagement, a tour, a web-based campaign. Any potential representation in a gallery space or the public realm is something that complements the original work, an independently created form of documentation. In Stories of Memory, the exchange of memories at a car boot sale is represented as a portable museum; in Fleeting, a mediated tour round an art space is shown later as an annotated floor plan; in Post 52, the artist positions herself both as an individual working through an evaluative process and also as ‘amateur’ illustrator of a series of postcards.
Sophie is not driven towards presenting a single narrative – it is the sum of individuals, the collection of contributions, which end up presenting the authentic voice she is looking for. In Folktale Project, the collaborative stories inspired by participants’ perceptions of their creative blocks is to become an anonymous anthology. A commission for the superlambanana trail became the mapping out of nominations sent in by people living in the local area.
The visual blog Beastly So and So is a chance to combine Sophie’s love of mythical creatures with creating collections, with the aim of showing work by emerging artists and illustrators in a series of accompanying exhibitions.