Water trickles beneath our feet, pools and drips from steamed up windows and dissipates into the humid air, returning to a less visible state within our atmosphere. The cycles and systems of water surround us, often detectable yet sometimes almost imperceptible. The rhythm of water softly shifting states appears to be almost alchemical. As water molecules move from one location to another and transform the surroundings they come in contact with, other systems interlink, going about their own business, yet weaving a complex web, maintaining our finely balanced ecosystem.
Sofía Clausse’s work is preoccupied with the connective and flowing qualities of such systems, exploring how networks interlink, are transformed and repeated across multiple different ecologies and our fascination with the pursuit of illustrating them in diagrammatic form.
Soft Water draws parallels with interconnected systems that surround us and flow through us.
Clausse’s employment of diagrams painted directly onto the walls refers to a range of endless and cyclical processes, from the flow ofinformation to interactions found in the natural world. For this exhibition, she has created a brand new wall painting, inspired by directional flow diagrams used to illustrate systems, such as the water cycle. Traditional diagrams are adapted to draw parallels with other systems of internal thought, such as the way she approaches the production of artworks, illustrating the often cyclical nature of how ideas manifest in the mind before being realised through as prints, paintings or sculptural works.
This continuous approach often results in new works being born of the leftovers of previous pieces, such as in a series of Paper Pulp and Paper Dishrag pieces as well as other works on paper.
Her Press Prints display two long strips of paper, each painted with monochrome lines, which form something resembling a chain. This ‘chain’ is then rolled through a heavy press, letting the press itself fold and flatten the paper strips in a way that is not up to the artist, but more up to a system she has created, letting the tool or machine dictate the folds.
Also included within the exhibition is an arrangement of ceramic water droplets, arranged to form a larger version of itself. The icon of the water droplet can be seen within other works in the exhibition, specifically within Sweetwater. When she began cutting the flowers, some of the tissue paper petals would get torn off, and they appeared to resemble a tear. In addition to the word tear itself having the dual meaning of being something we produce as a result of a state of heightened emotion, as well as being the present participle of the word ‘torn’, it also bears reference to the song-game ‘he loves me he loves me not’, an endless game which itself explore repetition as a poetic structure.
Soft Water is an exploration of all that interconnects and an admission that the processes that surround us, whether that be the weather system or the movement of water itself, is not isolated from other flows and forces. We are an active part of the cycles we observe.
Soft Water is curated by David McLeavy and Kristian Day as part of Playing Fields, a new platform producing exhibitions, projects and events in partnership with artists, galleries and institutions across the UK. Sharing resources, skills and audiences, Playing Fields intends to highlight regional spaces, amplify the practice of artists outside of existing networks and expand the reach of both individuals and organisations through meaningful collaboration.
Sofía Clausse (b.1989, Argentina) is a multi-disciplinary artist currently based in London. She completed her BFA at the Rhode Island School of Design (2014), and the postgraduate program at the Royal Academy Schools in London (2022). Recent exhibitions include The Royal Academy Schools Show 2022, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK 2022; Distortion & Dissonance, Where’s the Frame, London, UK, 2022; Now-here, now-there, Eve Leibe Gallery, London, UK and Between the Lines, Grove Collective, London, UK.
Slugtown is a not-for-profit gallery space based in Newcastle dedicated to offering a platform for early-career and emerging artists and making art accessible to all through a free public workshop programme.
44 Wretham Pl, Shieldfield, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 1XU
19 November 2022 –– 14 January 2023
Open Fridays and Saturdays 12 –– 6pm and by appointment