Sophie Barthélémy

Born in Paris, Sophie spent her childhood in Poitou, where she roamed the wooded areas at leisure and observed the animals that sheltered there. Attracted by sculpture, she integrated the workshop of Jean Claro (1929-2004) aged eighteen. At his side, she learnt the techniques of modelling while laying the foundations of her artistic construction. The solitary joy of the creative exercise, associated with the workshop’s atmosphere, comforted the young apprentice in her vocation; she signed up to the École des Beaux-Arts de Poitiers, from where she graduated in 1993.

Having set up in Charente-Maritime, Sophie began her career as an artist and video maker, producing facilities and stage performances, which would be broadcast at various festivals throughout France. “Preoccupied by the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and its inhabitants, [she] produced a piece in homage to the Yanomami Indians of Brazil, but at the same time, we learn that they were in part massacred because they wanted to protect their land. Very involved in [her] approach and very affected by the events, [Sophie] instantly [felt] how useless [she] was as an artist”. She then sidelined herself for a while, where she removed herself personally and organised painting workshops for disabled adults. This lifesaving period would enable her to reconnect with art and humankind.

Produced with acrylics, her painting is sensitive and spontaneous. Playing with spaces and chromatic tones, the artist explores her support, stimulates her imagination in order to give body to her subjects. Profoundly expressive, Sophie’s characters invite us to enter a unique world, suffused with poetry and generosity.