Sophie GibsonCharlottesville, Virginia

Red Lodge Clay Center, Short-Term Resident 2021

Raised in Charlottesville, Virginia, Sophie Gibson is a ceramic sculptor, painter, and stop-motion animator who takes inspiration from people and natural environments. In her figurative works she uses realism to access the innate beauty of her subjects, and her sculpting style emphasizes fluidity. A graduate of the Brown | RISD Dual Degree program (2017), Sophie first learned to sculpt the human figure from professor Alba Corrado and deepened her figurative education while working for the internationally recognized sculptor Cristina Cordova. Sophie currently maintains a studio practice at Visible Records and works as a teacher / studio manager at City Clay in Charlottesville.

I am interested in the ways people connect to natural environments through their senses, experiencing ephemera like water and sunshine viscerally. In my stop-motion animations I try to connect with my viewers by recording and displaying exciting changes in liquid and light. While my figurative ceramic sculptures are not at all ephemeral, these figures seem like attentive witnesses to their own inner and outer environments.

My work celebrates fluidity. I see connections between the topography of the human form and the rolling contours of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. My favorite part of my sculpting process occurs in the final stages of refinement, after gesture and proportions are established, when I am using my sculpture rake to groom forms into one another so that they flow together in the round. I also enjoy skateboarding in concrete bowls because my body gets to connect with fluid topography in a different way.