Sophie Mahon Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
Sophie Mahon is a British artist and producer, who combines film, sculpture and digital experimentation to create installations, artworks and events. Her work is often interactive and participatory and shown in the public spaces. Sophie has worked across the UK with various groups and communities as well as with organisations including the Whitworth, Tate Modern and Heart of Glass.
My socially engaged practice combines sculpture and digital experimentation, incorporating a range of processes and technologies to create permanent and temporary installations. This has ranged from working with metal casting to using coding and circuit boards to create interactive artworks, with materials and processes being determined by the themes and ideas I work with.
My work is often interactive, which has included producing conductive musical sculptures, interactive video installations and immersive sculptural works. Much of the work I produce is also participatory, with particular emphasises on working with people who might not normally engage with the art
My work has continually been socially driven and in recent years my focus has moved outward as the global political climate has become increasingly unstable and unfamiliar. In the past several years I have used my work as a means to explore global issues from the refugee crisis to deepening fears of Western instability.
My most recent works have been connected by themes of unknown futures and abstract narratives and have become increasingly more experimental in conception and creation, aiming to serve as a platform for artistic, social and political engagement.
I often work collaboratively, most recently co-leading a project entitled ‘The Next Term’, for which we were awarded the Futures Venture Radical Arts Award. This research-based project involved working with teachers, young people and researchers across the UK to highlight the importance of creativity and the challenges faced by schools. With a focus on the future of education, the project culminated in an immersive multi-discipline art installation-come-festival in March 2018.
Other recent collaborative projects include ‘The Noise That Sound Made’, an interactive sound sculpture, created with a wellbeing group, which is currently touring in public spaces around Manchester, UK and ‘This is Now’, a digital takeover of The Grundy Art Gallery, projecting the experiences of young people living in the socially deprived town of Blackpool, UK.
In a recent residency with Heart of Glass, I explored utopian and dystopian feelings and fears towards the future. Ideas for the works were shaped by a series of workshops with young people in the local area and outcomes included a live visual performance with a Parkour group and an interactive arts exhibition which spread across 5 empty shop units. Using the voices and experiences of others to create shared narratives around certain topics is also a running theme within my practice.