Sophie Klerk is a Danish collage artist who is known for her intuitive approach to materiality and form. Having lived and worked in the Netherlands, England, Mexico and most recently in New Zealand, Sophie’s work is largely shaped by her international background. Her artistic style is often described as unique, minimalist and expressive and explores the interactions between different papers, colours, shades, textures, threads, paint and photos.
Inspired by the curiosity and challenge of the unknown, Sophie’s stitched-together collages often bear the imprints of the previous lives of their materials. Her work is held in private collections worldwide, and she undertakes collaborations and commissions on request
Could you tell us about how you came to be in your current career?
I started my creative endeavours as a graphic designer, but after a few years, came to realize that I missed expressing my own personal take on the world. I decided to take some time off and began building a toolbox, equipped only with an old camera and my curiosity for the unknown. I started creating small collages using photographs, vintage books and things I found along the way. In other words, instead of illustrating other peoples’ stories — I began creating my own.
In my formative years, I told stories using photography and typography. As my work evolved, I’ve transitioned from graphics and imagery to working mainly with texture, colour and composition.
How would you describe your artworks?
I regard my work as a dialogue between myself and the material library I’ve accumulated over the years. I am endlessly fascinated by the interaction between different papers, colours, shades, textures and paints, and how they can come together to form new compositions and meanings.
My creative process is very intuitive, and through the process of creating an artwork, chaos turns into order and fragments become whole. My collages invite viewers to step inside my universe, while simultaneously discovering their own relationship to the artwork.
What inspires your work?
Having lived in Mexico for 6 months, there is a distinct imprint of the people, the colours, the walls and layers of history that is present in my work. Moving to New Zealand was very inspirational and important for my creative process. While fully establishing myself as an artist there, it offered me a chance to see things with fresh eyes while immersing myself in my own universe.
When I reflect on what inspires me, I find myself revisiting the traces of places, feelings and memories within the fragments I collect. Inspiration, I find, often arrives in the most unexpected of places and moments.
Could you describe the process of how you create your artworks?
I often work on several artworks at the same time. It can take hours, days or weeks before the final piece has found its place and the work has found a sense of balance. Searching for this harmony is essential but at the same time, there must be a sense of spontaneity in the process. When something is too careful or “perfect”, it doesn’t feel right, and I must remind myself to trust the process and embrace the uncertainty of creation
Could you introduce your new collection, 'in conversation,' and explain the inspiration behind it?
‘In Conversation’ is a series of abstract collages that will be displayed in Audo House new restaurant concept. The artworks are inspired by the architecture of Audo House itself — including the colours, textures and atmosphere. My approach toward materiality and response to my surroundings are both very intuitive, and I seek to unite these two worlds. With ‘In Conversation,’ my aim was to create an interactive conversation between the room, its guests and the artworks themselves.