It’s ‘the endless possibilities and the rich natural habitats’ that surround Sophie Perez which serve as the primary inspiration for her paintings. The reflections of deadwood tree trunks glint across the surface of a billabong, paperbark dangles from the spindly arm-like branches of a gumtree, and brown kangaroo grass ripples in the breeze. In the whimsically-titled Fields of Gelato, brushstrokes map scoops of rolling, colourful hills that disappear into an ocean horizon.
These are scenes of stillness. Fleeting moments that give a sense of capturing time in motion, and revelling in its transience. They are ‘a gentle reminder of nature at its best’.
Sophie’s landscapes are inflected by memory and emotion, manipulated by the distance of time, but brightened by the sharpness of feelings associated with the place. ‘Before I begin putting brush to canvas, I can already see how I want it to work,’ she says of the importance of memory. ‘The emotion of the moment is really important to me.’
The artist works from her Mornington studio, which is flooded with natural light and open to visitors. Her community is also welcome to join the artist for a one night only event at her upcoming exhibition, Conversations in Time, in Richmond. On February 15th Sophie will host a long lunch in the exhibition space, where likeminded people can gather to talk about art, around a three-course Moroccan feast by Mr Curtis in Mount Martha, and paired with Mornington Peninsula wines. Tickets will be available for 12 guests and part of the ticket proceeds will be donated to Red Cross Australia Disaster relief appeal.
Sophie’s next project will be to head to the Pilbara in Western Australia in the middle of the year, where her watery green creeks and hills will give way to arid desert sands. It’s a chance to commune with other artists, experiment with new mediums and see things she has never seen before.
Conversations In Time by Sophie Perez
February 8th – 29th
208 Lennox Street