Artist's Corner - Sophie Smallhorn - Artist
Hailing originally from Hertfordshire, British artist Sophie Smallhorn graduated from the University of Brighton in 1994 with a BA in Furniture – specialising in wood, metal, plastics and ceramics. Her dynamic approach to the use of colour and raw materials saw her career take off to a flying start, with exhibitions around the world and collaborations with institutions such as Somerset House, the London Underground and the Olympic committee, who commissioned her to create the magnificent fabric colour-wrap for the 2012 Olympic stadium in London.
Alongside her private practice, Sophie is no stranger to working closely with luxury fashion brands, such as Comme des Garcons for their flagship store in Tokyo, which made her the perfect partner to create site-specific installations for Begg x Co which have been exhibited at Pitti Uomo and Maison&Objet.
We are thrilled to have collaborated once again with Sophie to create a vibrant window installation using upcycled cashmere Wispy scarves at our London Pop-Up shop.
Thank you for creating a beautiful installation for our Pop-Up shop! What were your main sources of inspiration for the installation?
I wanted to make something amusing, bold and fun. Something to celebrate life returning and the joyous Begg x Co colour range. I started by playing with the Wispy scarf and because it is so superfine it was easy to knot into a ball and in a sense create an object to work with. Once I had a pile of coloured balls to play with I worked on how to bring them together to create larger forms.
You have upcycled our iconic ultra-lightweight Wispy cashmere scarves for the installation, did you face any challenges in doing this?
It was an ideal project to upcycle pieces because ideally it was easier to work with parts of scarves as opposed to full pieces.
Why have you chosen to work with Begg x Co on this piece?
All of my work involes colour so it is never a chore to work with Begg x Co and the endless palette of possibilities. You can always create such delights with this product.
Your projects are diverse, ranging from small sculptural pieces to large architectural installations. What is your favourite kind of project and why?
Difficult to say. It is very much the case that working on the smaller pieces informs and drives ideas for the larger pieces but each project has a very different mindset and I like each one for different reasons.
Cashmere absorbs dye like no other yarn and at Begg x Co, we are endlessly inspired by colour and how we use it. Your work is all about colour, how does it inspire you?
I am very inspired by the endless possibilities of colour pairings and groups; how you can bring together surprising combinations.
Are there any particular shades you’re drawn to?
I particularly like playing with the reds, pinks and oranges but I also like creating colour groups with very subtle shifts in tones and patterns
You’ve worked on incredible commissions such as the Comme de Garçons interiors piece for their new flagship store in Tokyo. How does it feel to see your ‘colour sculptures’ & vision come to life?
I love realising a piece. At whatever scale, seeing a concept progress from a thought to a proposal, then to a maquette and finally to a fabricated piece at full scale is always exciting and very satisfying.