Sophie Evans

Recent Camberwell graduate Sophie Evans experiments with form and media to bring her vibrant, gestural pattern designs to life...

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Mid-Century Redrawn installation, 2016

Describe your work in three words...
Abstract, bold and colourful.
How has your love of Mid-Century design influenced your practice? 
I am an avid collector of Mid-Century design, fascinated by the bizarre and unexpected; my collection constantly provides visual inspiration.
I use my ever growing eclectic collection as a resource for colour schemes, unusual colour combinations, textures, shapes and forms. Materials and textiles used during the Mid-Century period also influence my practice. I’m currently exploring ways to adapt and use materials and processes such as vinyl, weaving, laminated wood and moulded plastic to create my fluid surreal shapes.

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Mid-Century Redrawn installation, 2016

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Mid-Century Redrawn installation, 2016

Describe your working process to us...
Maker, Designer, Collector, Curator
Pattern design is the foundation of my practice and the spark to my creative process. It is my starting point for ideas/concepts and constantly inspires and excites me. The shapes, forms and colours within my Mid-Century collection create constant ideas for patterns.
I have a playful approach to idea development, through the process of collage assemblage, abstract painting and maquette making. I select interesting cut outs and painted forms from my collection of patterns, then collage and layer these elements together using a photocopier to develop striking shape, colour and pattern combinations. I use these combinations as tools to create 3D or textile outcomes, I enjoy and embrace the spontaneity of collage, painting and the freedom of outcomes it inspires.
I celebrate colour, embracing bold, bright, colour combinations that create a visual impact. I try to keep my outcomes and concepts fun and playful, as an artist I want to produce work that hopefully makes people smile and indulge in colour.

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Pattern design, 2016

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Pattern design, 2016

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Pattern design, 2016

What prompted you to start creating 3D and installation-based pieces? 
During my final degree project ‘Mid-Century Redrawn’, I explored ways to curate and display my Mid-Century collection. My aim was to design a surreal environment in which my collection and collection-inspired pattern designs would fit and be showcased.
This involved thinking about 3D form for the first time. I played with the idea of producing a range of patterned wallpapers and printed fabrics in which I would cover furniture and objects to create this desired environment. This wasn’t working and didn’t reflect the unique shapes and forms in my collection pattern designs.
I then explored the possibilities of simply abstracting interesting shapes from my patterns, visualising these in 3D and making many miniature models... I had a vast selection of 3D forms in which I refined and curated together until I was happy with a collection of surreal forms. This then became my final degree installation ‘Mid-Century Redrawn’.
Tell us about a favourite recent project...
Recently I have been working on a personal project, designing a footwear collection.  I adore shoes and am fascinated by the craftsmanship, attention to detail and meticulous making process involved.
My footwear collection is still in the early design stage and I am finding the design process so inspiring—I enjoy experimenting with combining shapes, forms, textures and colours together in unusual ways to create unique wearable sculptures.

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Wearable Art, 2016

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Wearable Art concept development, 2016

Who are your heroes?
Sonia Delaney for her wearable art and bold pattern designs, which are fabulous; Grayson Perry; Betty Woodman for her colourful, abstract and striking 2D and 3D outcomes; Richard Hamilton; Patty Carroll and Joanne Stoker who designs incredible footwear and accessories based on and inspired by materials and colours used from different decades.
What would be your dream project?
The ‘dream project’ would be to design and make my own colourful imagined world. It would be so exciting to create an environment for all to enjoy and experience, where everything has been thought of and designed; furniture, utensils, lighting, fixtures and fittings, flooring, gardens, clothing, shoes, accessories and transport…creating an unusual surreal cabinet of colourful curiosities.
I’m inspired by magical works like ‘A House for Essex, 2015’ by Grayson Perry and ’Salvador Dalí’s House’ in Portlligat, both equally bizarre, beautiful and extraordinary.

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Pattern design, 2016

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Pattern design, 2016

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Pattern design, 2016

What's next for you?
The focus for my year ahead is to progress, learn and develop the 3D possibilities within my work, revisit my remaining maquette installation designs and transform them into full scale sets or sculptural pieces. I hope to have the opportunity to exhibit these outcomes and develop/produce product design ideas from the making process.
I am also passionate about fashion design and wish to start designing ‘wearable art’.  I want to create a garment collection and accessories range inspired by my pattern designs; using fluid shapes, forms and unusual materials inspired by my Mid-Century collection. I aim to keep a playful approach to idea development and I am excited to see where and how my practice and colourful designs evolve.

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Pattern design, 2016

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Pattern and installation design, 2016

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Installation design, 2016