Sophie Spedding (London | b. 1995, London): Sophie Spedding’s work involves using hyperbolic forms emphatic to the body, tied to narratives of control, sexuality, and abjection. The work is interested in involving viewpoint, saturation and ecology to direct posthuman conceptions of the effect of a potential body. Spedding graduated with their BA from The Slade School of Fine Art, UCL in London where they currently live and work.
Q Could you tell us a little about your painting process? Do you have a routine or trigger that enables you to paint or is something that you can do daily?
I’ve found that my best triggers for painting come from watching things that can expand my idea of consent.
This can vary from watching hours of cave exploration YouTubers to ecosexual testimonies to watching relationship reality shows like Love During Lockup, all where the depiction of the victim and vilified is always flipping between characters.
I am ecosexual, which has an undercurrent of a speculative reality of consent, that informs my depictions of biographical events.
Q Your paintings are known for having really vibrant hues, neon greens and pinks bleed into each other. How do you work with colour in your work?
I use colour as a trap, like flora and fauna. I think being appropriative of a commercial colour scheme can be a forceful construction of the viewing process of the work. To initially subvert the disruption that comes from the content.
Q I really love how you title your work, ‘Nobody But You/ Nobody’s Gonna Fuck Me Like Me’, ‘Urine Blonde’ and ‘Closest Thing To Hema’. How do you go about titling your work?
‘Nobody But You/ Nobody’s Gonna Fuck Me Like Me’ came from this idea of being in two places at once in heartbreak, coming from the music surrounding me seeing a younger familly member go through their first heartbreak.
‘Urine Blonde’ came in the pandemic, where I understood my idea of femininity revolved around 2005 Paris Hilton’s urine blonde hair, and the painting came as a depiction of that reflection.
‘Closest Thing To Hema’ came from a period of research into my favourite rock, hematite. For me the painting was a form of processing my experience of validation and being non binary.
To me Hematite is the purest form of beauty and refinement, but historically it has been used to make armour and create the first cave paintings, with its red blood form when scratched on a surface.
Q Your work can sometimes feel like an abstract bodily part or surgical shots of an intimate body part. Do your personal experiences inform your work?
I’ve been lucky enough to have had a history of spinal surgeries that left me with a complete obsession with tissue and human pathology with their uncanniness to geology and caving systems in texture. I usethe body/cave as a vilified setting to tell narratives.
Q Which painters do you love?
Mie Yim, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Kaari upson, Jana euler, Martin Wong, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Marnie Weber, Ernst Fuchs, Hamishi Farah, Gaby Sahhar, Hans Belmer, Agnes Scherer, Caitlin Cherry, Kin-ting Li, Catherine Mulligan, Ithell Colquhou, Pol Taburet.
Q And lastly you have just moved studios across London, what will you be working on? Is there anywhere we can expect to see your work?
I am in a group show at Quench, on the 25th of November and a presentation of work with Changing Room Gallery in December.
Published by Queerdirect Publications 2022
Edited by Adriann Ramirez