Chatting to Sophie Herxheimer

“It’s everywhere, inspiration.”

Chatting to the abundantly talented artist and poet, Sophie Herxheimer, is intoxicating - the passion that emanates from her as she speaks will blow you away!

“I get a lot of inspiration from poetry, history, stories and dreams. Fellow poets and artists (dead or alive) very much inspire me too.”

A true London girl, Sophie takes inspiration from the city and her family. She has an impressive catalogue of work (far too big to list in it's entirety) - including five illustrated fairytale collections, exhibitions in the National Portrait Gallery and an extensive series of collaborations. 

She has been creating since childhood, “ever since I could hold a pencil”. 

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Sophie’s work combines her love of poetry and art, in narrated illustrations. She describes the creation as an instinctive process - a “flow”. 

“Every sequence of work dictates its own process. If a new process doesn't need devising the work becomes dead and potentially boring. That's why I move around a lot in terms of materials, sometimes its oil paint on cardboard, sometimes photo montage, then etching, often ink drawing, because me and ink understand each others tendency to spill... always a process, always a flow: both are essential.”

Sophie holds a great presence in the room - with a colourful and fiercely feminine attitude. Easy to chat to, she will happily spend hours in deep discussion and I imagine she would make an excellent choice at a late night dinner party where talk turns to philosophy and romantic debates over the meaning of life!

I asked Sophie what advice she would give to aspiring writers/artists and her answer was beautifully frank - “practice, listen, be fearless and playful. When things don't work, throw them away!”

Active both in her community and online, it’s not hard to catch Sophie in action - with regular public readings and teachings. Her latest artist book is entitled ‘Your Candle Accompanies The Sun’ and it’s pages hold a collection of collages, inspired by poet Emily Dickinson. Sophie's words are bittersweet - a sentiment that echoes in her gorgeous sense of humour.

“I am delighted to show at Red Propeller. It makes me feel part of Kingsbridge which is where me and my family have been coming on holiday for over 20 years. I love the town: the proper high street where you can buy all the necessaries from a pint of milk to a work of art, and of course you people there, who are friendly, like artists, and know your stuff.”

Her work can be seen both in the gallery and on our website. To visit her official Red Propeller page, just click the button below...

- Charlotte Z.M

David Anslow