As a part of our `you ought to know` series, we have decieded to showcase talent found right in our own (Brock) community. This week, we put the spotlight on Sophia Strachan, a 21 year old Visual Arts student. Sophia is also an international student, with the infleunce of her Caribbean roots that inspire her craft. She has come to Canada to persue and futher both her academic and professional career. I sat down with Strachan to unpack her expereinces at Brock and explore her talent.
Q: Why do you do what you do?
A: By nature, I am a very quiet person. You can say that I am an introvert. It is only recently I started to talk more about my feelings and started to socializing more. I do art so I can express myself. In addition, doing art helps me share my views on various subject matters such as social media, religion or any other topic that I am passionate about.
Q: How do you work?
A: Most of the time I start off with a sketch. At times, the piece may end up either better than I expected or worse. Sometimes, my process is very spontaneous. I just do it.
Q: What’s your favorite artwork?
A: One of my favourite artwork would have to be Sheena Rose, Invisbles, 2017 . She is from Barbados. This particular series consists of acrylic of paintings covering different themes such as race, history, culture and gender. In these paintings, the artist experiments with the use of negative space. In my opinion, negative space is not a void. Via imagination, it can be filled with anything.
Q: What’s your background?
A: I am 21 years old and I am originally from the beautiful twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago. I lived there my entire life. I decided to come to Canada due to a joint exhibition the Art Department of the Marilyn I. Walker Complex had with the Visual Arts department of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad. I first came to Brock as an exchange student for my second year of study. I decided to come back due to enjoying my experience not just at Brock, but in Canada.
In terms of my art background, my fascination for art started when I was in Secondary School. In Trinidad, we do an exam called CXC or CSEC (Caribbean School Examination Council). I chose to do Visual Arts as one of my subjects for this exam. At first, I wanted to be doctor. However, after not doing so well in science, and after getting the highest in Visual Arts in the year of 2013 in my school, I realized I was made to be an artist. From there, I went on to do a Certificate in Visual Arts at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad then my degree which I am currently pursuing at Brock University.
Q: What’s integral to the work of an artist?
A: I think having personal experience with the subject matter one is depicting is important. Having that personal connection can make the process of creating art a bit easier. It would be easier for the artist to talk about his or her work.
Q: What role does the artist have in society?
A: In almost all my courses, this question is asked. I think artists play a very important role in society. They tend to be the group of people who talk about different issues that the society is facing. Some of these issues may be on the frontlines of the newspaper while some are thrown in the backburner.
Q: What technique do you use?
A: I use various techniques but I tend to be drawn to the Impressionistic style of painting. This particular style of painting entails using short brushstrokes. In my opinion, there is so much personality in each short brushstroke. In addition, there is a texture that is created using this style.
A: Where comes your inspiration from when you are painting?
My inspiration comes from various places such as social media, nature, personal experiences, faith and other things. I try to find creativity in everything.
Q: Where can the Brock community see your work?
A: The Brock community can see my work mostly on Instagram @sophia.b.strachan.
Q: Any projects you are working on now or in the future?
A: I am currently working on artwork that I have to do for assingments for school. I am also in the process of looking at different places I can exhibit my work in St. Catharines. In the near future, I hope to be able to exhibit in different art galleries not just in Canada, but around the world.
Stay tuned for our last instalment of our ‘you ought to know artist in next week’s issue!