Sophie Gralton ‘On a Farm Somewhere…’ TVH Exhibition

Sophie Gralton’s most recent exploration of the childhood experience.

The work followed an abrupt upheaval in her own life which saw her move to a remote rural area in the Southern Tablelands of NSW.
In this new beginning Gralton is inspired by local landscapes, native birds, dogs and old objects sought in country second hand stores.
Below the surface of the oil paint cast off childhood garments, pages from vintage story books, manila tags ghost her portraits like lost histories and past lives.

The cropped gaze is Gralton’s intentional device to allow the viewer to interpret the models as any or every child and forces us to explore subtle nuances of body language: a set of a lip, a tilt of a chin, a gesture, a stance.
Children barefoot in remote landscapes wearing grubby striped business shirts echo Gralton’s own dislocation and sudden removal to a strange country backwater away from the ease of modern urban life.

At the same time her children are resilient, unsentimental, even defiant and bemused.

A graduate of the National Art School Gralton was intrigued by an exhibition of 17th century Dutch portraits of children.
The cool European hues, the adult like composure of the subjects, their lack of sentimentality, struck a chord with her.
Whilst this series is very Australian, one can still feel the influence of the Dutch masters.
Gralton uses traditional painting techniques learnt at The Charlie Shead Studio School.
Her consummate knowledge of traditional pallets, underpainting techniques, her understanding of pigments are a feature of her highly textured images and hark back to the Dutch work that so excited her.

Click here to find out more about the exhibiting artist.