Sophia Alexander-James

I graduated from the University of Chichester in 2014 with an MA in Fine Art. I approach painting in a systematic way and am currently exploring the materiality of surface through the use of structure and edge.

My paintings are process led. I enjoy the interaction between the ground surface and the paint which I apply. The preparation of the board or paper is quite particular and it takes a great deal of time before painting begins. The smooth surface of MDF has allowed me to create my own unique ground in the priming stage of painting. The even brushstrokes of a draft excluder brush act as a man made “grain” in the surface of the MDF. The application of the oil paint is minimal. I often apply then remove the paint which stains the exposed ground of the board leaving only a trace of the erased paint.

The first part of my process, the careful application of the primer, is highly controlled. However the application of the oil paint is unpredictable as the ground surface reveals itself. The quality of the surface is of the upmost importance to me. I have adopted a systematic approach to my paintings, working with square panels and the idea of thirds. I am interested in the point where the edge of one surface meets another and the tension which is caused when the two overlap. There is an element of order and chaos in my work. I strive to create perfectly even surfaces, yet it is the imperfection and the contrast it creates that is the most interesting element.

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