26 July – 12 August 2018
about the exhibition
In a departure from her last exhibition, Sophia turns away from the land, sky and sea and looks to familiar and personal subjects for the inspiration for her new body of work, ‘nostalgia’. As she says of the exhibition, “the portraits in ‘nostalgia’ were born from a feeling of both nostalgia and longing… longing to hold onto and freeze this time. In a strange way, there is also a longing to be a child again, to do and see things as I did.” Sophia’s printmaking process of layering images and merging forms, seamlessly achieved using digital technology, allows her to create the desired mood and expression. Many of the works in this exhibition contain qualities reminiscent of paintings from art history. As Marguerite Brown, author and curator notes; “In ‘Yumi’, the girl’s quasi-profile pose and pale translucent skin against the vivid blue of her jacket may call to mind the artist Vermeer. Yet it is the flowing tendrils of hair by Renaissance master Botticelli that leave a barely perceptible shadow along Yumi’s brow.” Each portrait is paired with a still life that also holds significance to Sophia and her life, creating a ‘joint’ portrait. The objects chosen for the still life are carefully considered with their aesthetic and symbolic qualities referencing the paired portrait. These works complement each other yet retain their individual strength with the frames created specifically for this exhibition. Referencing a classical Dutch framebut with a modern take of simplified lines and clean edges, the frames emphasise Sophia’s nostalgia for the past.All of her works contain tenderness and depth and capture a sense of wonder that her work has become known for.
Sophia Szilagyi graduated with First Class Honours from the School of Art and Culture at RMIT in 2000. Since graduating, Sophia has held a number of solo shows as well as participating in many group exhibitions across Australia. Her work has been selected in numerous print awards including the Fremantle Print Prize (2007), the Banyule Award for Works on Paper (2011, 2009 and 2007) and most recently, St Kevins Art Prize (2018). In 2005, Sophia was commissioned to complete a print for the Print Council of Australia and her work is represented in collections including Artbank, Burnie Regional Art Museum, La Trobe Regional Art Gallery, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Queensland University of Technology and the State Library of Victoria.