Some years ago, while browsing the shelves of a Parisian bookstore, Sophie Gralton discovered a hard cover bound catalogue dedicated to 17th Century Dutch portraits of children. She was immediately intrigued, and so Sophie lugged its pages all the way back to Australia. Shortly after, while photographing her own children at home, she was reminded of these Dutch paintings and decided to create her own contemporary Australian versions.
Having grown up in rural Victoria as the middle of five children, Sophie’s childhood held happy and nostalgic memories of country life.
“… I mourn for a time when children could remember what it was like to have milk bottles with foil tops, a baker that delivered to your home and the Postie rode a bike. That era has gone – and I want to capture now the childhood that my own children are experiencing by incorporating in my artwork, pieces of memorabilia of this current generation.”
Old linoleum, manila tags, children’s’ storybooks and postage stamps are placed below the surface of the canvas to bring a contemporary Australian feel to her works.
Although Sophie’s works aim to represent elements of her own children, she did not want them to be specific portraits, so she consistently removes the gaze of the child. Not only does this easily distinguish Sophie’s works from others, but it also avoids an over-sentimentality by allowing the viewer to see “every child”.
Sophie’s success increases more and more every year. Her work has been used as book covers, and even reached record prices at charity auctions. In addition she has exhibited all around Australia, Hong Kong, and the United States.
In addition to signed Limited Edition prints of Sophie’s beautiful works, we are also thrilled to have a selection of original works by Sophie. Her paintings have become collector’s items in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why! To see the full range of Sophie’s works available at Tusk click here.