Melbourne-based photographer Sophie Gabrielle is one of those who wonders and questions images and their relationship to memories and perception. Her series Worry For the Fruit the Birds Won't Eat reveals a new realm of the unseen. Themes of memory, life, and death are frequent in her body of work:
“For me, I find it easiest to draw work from things I know and that are close to home. Photography in a sense is both life and memory in one, we photograph to capture life and we find power in the memory of it. If there wasn’t a need to document things to keep our memories alive, photography wouldn’t be as popular as it is today. It’s also interesting to think of the flip side, that photographs are only small slivers of the truth, framed in such a way to only show the best.”
To say her methods are experimental is an understatement. Sophie takes a very avant-garde approach. The images in her series came from vintage and historical archives of medical research papers. Subjects of early x-ray experiments, Soviet Union light ray baths and disease wards are found in the series Each photograph was exposed several times under a glass plate to collect particles of dust and hair. The photograph would be re-captured to create those dust-like effects.
Sophie was trained by Hoda Afshar since 2015. Her photographic community in Melbourne is where she draws passion – where artists, creatives, doers, and makers such as her gather together. Apart from old archives, Sophie also takes inspiration from fiction.
Now that we got to know a bit of Sophie, we dig deeper into the artist's mind with questions of life, memory, and death. In this interview, we let her pictures do the talking.
Hey Sophie. Firstly, how are you feeling right now?
Your body of work always seems to try to visualize the inner workings of the mind. Through your photographs, can you paint us a picture or pictures as to what your thoughts – both conscious and subconscious – look like?
The series Worry for the Fruit the Birds Won’t Eat is rather an intimate project for you. Throughout the series, can you show us the image that made a huge impact on you?
Such is the word and idea of 'life'. What does it look like for you?
How about 'death'?
Now please portray to us what it looks like to be in the middle of life and death.
Where do you think people's consciousness head off to when they're dreaming or asleep?
Can you portray to us of the one thing you fear the most?
To finish off, what does Sophie Gabrielle's soul look like?