For 10 years I have worked with mixed media on paper, using techniques that I have honed down to create my aesthetic. I am inspired especially by the work of tattoo artists and musicians, which influence my style and approach.
Initially my work focused on autobiographical exploration of my experiences and mental health. Since graduating I moved away from personal subjects and concentrated on technique, minuscule and mind-bending detail, portraiture and figurative representation.
I have been through a long period where art has helped me with my mental health. I draw highly detailed mandalas that help me enter a space of tranquil and calm, aiding self-reflection and inner silence. My work tells a story of mental illness, illustrating being taken to the edge of sanity, standing on the brink and losing all sense of self and identity.
The process of drawing a mandala can be very therapeutic, working from the centre of the circle outwards, each completed ring of the mandala brings with it a sense of wholeness and once the image is complete there is an overwhelming sense of calm.
I came across the use of mandalas ten years ago when I first became fixated on The Dot and circular pattern making. After studying the use of mandalas in Tibetan Buddhism I became interested in the idea of creating something so fragile and temporary that you pour hours of your time into, learning that it’s the process that helps ease ones mind as opposed to having a finished piece of work.
In Tibet, Buddhist monks will spend days creating elaborate and beautiful mandalas from sand, only to brush them away into the air or water once they are complete. For this reason, once I have finished a mandala I will name it and donate it to somebody.
Find Sophie here: www.zophielwebb.com