Interview with Sophie Goudman-Peachey

In January, we were lucky enough to chat with Sophie Goudman-Peachey, a talented multidisciplinary artist, who has been with Art School from its inception. Sophie’s work combines painting, collage, textile and of course printmaking to reconstruct existing narratives surrounding women in society.
 Growing up she was obsessed with the work of Lucian Freud and the way he depicted the female nude, a motif that is still central to her practice. Sophie’s empowering works want to explore the female form away from the historical male gaze and aims to turn the patriarchal narrative on its head by empowering women through intersectional politics of identity, race and sexuality and allowing space for women to be whoever they want. Her work is refreshingly varied and inclusive and although all come from a place of self-exploration and reflection, she hopes that they will resonate with all types of people.
We hope you enjoy reading a little more about Sophie’s work below and check out our Instagram to see a video of her working her magic in the studio to create ‘Like Never Before’, her limited-edition woodcut created exclusively for us.
Sophie Goudman-Peachey, Like Never Before, 2021
How did you become an artist? What’s your training and background? 
I actually didn't always want to be an artist. When I was younger I wanted to work in fashion or business, or both, but I really discovered a passion for art in my final year at school. I enrolled at Wimbledon College of Art for my honours degree in Fine Art: Painting and graduated in 2017.  My mantra was to be "the next (female) Lucian Freud" as I wanted to reframe the painting of the naked figure in art.
How did you first get into printmaking?
After graduating I felt a bit lost and disheartened with my practice and my mum, Lesley Goudman, who is also an artist and an incredible printmaker, encouraged me to join her at an etching weekend in Brighton at BIP Art Studios. I absolutely fell in love with etching, taught by the wonderful Ann Darcy-Hughes and continued exploring a plethora of printmaking processes; linocut, woodcut and most recently hybrid printing - combining monoprinting with etching and relief printing. Working in a studio alongside printmakers who really strive to expand the perimeters of printmaking is exhilarating because there feels like an abundance of ideas to experiment with and develop. 
Woodblock and printmaking tools of Like Never Before by Sophie Goudman-Peachey
Woodblock of Like Never Before
Tell us about your process and how each of your prints come into creation.
I never stop thinking about my next piece, so my process, I suppose, is happening all the time. I'm constantly being inspired about life and things around me. Usually I begin by looking at my research and resource images, to see what connects with the emotions I'm feeling and what I want to portray within the work. I always say that all my pieces are self-portraits, regardless of whether I feature in them or not. I start by creating an initial digital collage/sketch on Photoshop which evolves several times until I have a final image that I'm happy with. This is then drawn in my sketchbook and transferred to the block or plate. Occasionally I'll adapt the drawing once I've seen it on the block itself before carving or etching, but usually it stays true to the collaged sketch. The carving and etching processes are my favourite part, I love the meticulous process of painting out shades in etching, and carving different grain textures in relief printing. 

With my print Like Never Before I was going through a particularly difficult period of time in my life, and it was the first piece I'd created in a while. I wanted to express the vulnerability and pain I was experiencing and so it was important to keep a lot of the woodgrain in the piece to absorb the dark ink and capture the emotional state I was in.  
Relief print collograph by Lesley Goudman
Relief print collograph by Lesley Goudman
What (or who) are your influences?
I have so many influences, it's hard to pin-point just a few and I feel like the list is constantly growing too! First and foremost it's my mum but also Lucian Freud, Gauguin, Picasso, Matisse, Henry Taylor, Kerry James Marshall, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Michael Armitage, Frieda Kahlo, Mickalene Thomas, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, Chloe Wise, Matthew Eguavoen, Ekene Emeka-Maduka, Alexandria Couch, John Muafangejo, Ephrem Solomon and Annan Affotey.

My dad has always been a big influence, as he was an incredibly hard-working and determined man who instilled a firm belief and drive in me. Everything I do is in the hope that I can continue to do him proud.

What was your earliest memory surrounding art?
It's a hard thing to recall because really and truly I was always surrounded by art growing up with my mum being an artist. Strangely, I think one of the earliest memories I have would be watching a program called Art Attack. Where the presenter Neil Buchanan would use things found around the house and transform them into art projects. I loved it! 
Vincent van Gogh, L'Arlésienne: Madame Ginoux with gloves and umbrella, 1888
Vincent van Gogh, L'Arlésienne: Madame Ginoux with gloves and umbrella, 1888
 If you could own one artwork by any artist, what would it be?
I had to go with the artwork that immediately came to my mind which was L'Arlésienne: Madame Ginoux with gloves and umbrella by Vincent Van Gogh. 


← Older Post Newer Post →