Showing at Eames Fine Art from the 19th May to the 12th June is Sophie Layton’s solo exhibition entitled NEW. On its opening night, Syndicut visited Eames Gallery near London Bridge and met the artist at the incredibly popular private view. This was the perfect chance to find some unique printmaking inspiration and we urge anyone looking for new print ideas to pay a visit to this spectacular show!
Above: Brixton Station & Installation View (Featured Image: House Plant I, II & III)
Describing herself as “an innovative, energetic person”, Sophie Layton’s recent prints are intensely colourful and feel nostalgic in the way they use old family photos and imagery of urban environments which are now significantly changed.
Layton’s exploration of subjects such as architecture, nightlife, memorabilia and a fondness for the seventies and eighties has led to the production of this new body of work, which unusually juxtaposes pieces which incorporate personal “family snaps” alongside perhaps less personal themes such as cityscapes, skylines and still lives. Layton’s stunning prints can arguably be seen as an accumulation of memories and experiences with which she identifies, translating these into print to capture each moment.
Above: Gossiping Ladies & Visiting Edith
“I love the physical and intellectual process of printmaking; the way results build up and ideas emerge onto paper, demanding constant decision-making” – Sophie Layton
Above: Finding Winter Light, Skyline & Through the Trees
Having the opportunity to see Layton’s mesmerising prints in person revealed how considered they are, and how intricately she has layered techniques and imagery to create such extraordinary compositions. Using media such as photo-etching, carborundum, monotype and drawing – often combining more than one of these processes – has given Layton’s pieces a powerful depth and intensity, drawing attention into the print whilst making the viewer think about its content.
Above: Way Forward & Nordic Disco
Innovatively, in works such as Way Forward, which depicts a now modernised tube station, Layton has used familiar colours which appear to represent tube lines, situating these vibrant blocks of pigment amongst images of the characterful old station interior. On the left hand side of this print is a solid area of beige, which the artist intends to symbolise London “losing its soul” and parts of the nostalgic fondness many Londoners hold dear – due to this, the text “Way Forward” above the escalator feels unsettling and ironic.
Above: Osaka Hospital & Osaka Nightlife
Sophie Layton masterfully captures the light and mood of each scene, and presents her subjects in a refreshingly dynamic way. Using contrastingly saturated and subdued colours, and layered simplified forms, the artist creates a heightened sense of drama unachievable through photography alone.
Above: Chinchu Art Museum & Naoshima Art Museum
NEW is only a five-minute walk from London Bridge Station and is running for just under a month, until 12th June – check it out while you can!