Sophie Fulton is a curator and researcher based in Ayrshire and Glasgow, Scotland. Her practice straddles the line between traditional and contemporary, exploring themes such as the human and non-human, the sublime, escapism, the unseen, fantasy vs reality and the relationship between science and art. As a curator, she is interested in displaying in alternative spaces, experimenting with their connection to audience reception, artistic context and research progression. She is currently working on her Masters in Curatorial Practice, a course run by Glasgow School of Art and the University of Glasgow.
As a researcher, Sophie is interested in art historical influences on modern culture; her love of the Victorian period often influences her study choice. Sophie has written papers covering a range of topics, including Industrialisation and Imagination: A study of the relationship between Fairy Art, and Modernity, Societal roles and Lunacy in the Victorian Period (2019), Taxidermy: Subject and Specimen (2020), Bio Art: Curating the Living, Non-Living and Everything In Between (2021) and Ruysch, Body Worlds and Bio Art: A Comparative Discussion (2021).
Sophie also holds a First Class Joint Honours MA in Film and Visual Culture and History of Art from the University of Aberdeen. As well as a strong theoretical background, Sophie has previous qualifications and experience working as an independent artist, specialising in portrait realism and photography. Previous and current curatorial projects include Restriction. Intervention. Connection. (2020), and a collaboration with the Hunterian Gallery as part of Dislocations (2021). The latter consists of a performance artwork by Rae Yen Song and a speculative fiction writing workshop by Arianne Maki, and is co-curated with Siobhan Healey, Holly O’Brien and Sam M Harley and is expected to be presented later in 2021.
My curatorial research stems from a background in art theory, contemporary practice and gallery fieldwork. This has resulted in my practice mirroring various facets of interest, often straddling multiple research pools and genres. I strive to balance theoretical and practical research, one often feeding the other to reach a versatile curatorial approach. Fantasy vs reality, historical influences on contemporary culture and the human need for escapism are recent influential themes, with the hope of their development into deeper focuses in the future.
My multi-faceted practice includes the development of a trustful space for discussion between artist and curator. This is essential as my thematic interests often associate themselves with intimate, sensitive and reality-questioning material, requiring close working relationships with artists and their practice. My film and art history background is evident in my determination to engage with artists in historical and contemporary conversations, situating both their work and my practice in contemporary art discourse. I also enjoy exploring potential audience reactions and associations to art, its relationship to medium and display space. I hope to develop this research interest in the future by exhibiting in a lab environment. Ultimately, I strive for an adaptable practice that can acclimate itself, adjusting from a need to contribute to social change to the visual presentation of sentimentality, depending on the artist’s needs.
My current curatorial interests focus on the conversation between Science and Art and its representations in a pandemic-driven society. This is fuelled by my interest in bioart, its ethical debates and dualism of research and creativity. These explorations have resulted in my most recent project, The New Normal?; a bio and body art collective.
A small place to bring candlelight to... 2021
Restriction. Intervention. Connection. 2020
The New Normal? Zine
An adaptive environment that evolves as we do. A societal anchor of security and assurance.
An individual experience.
The New Normal? is an Art and Science Zine, emulating the heightened fusion of virus science and pandemic culture by considering the collective and individual journey of ‘the new normal’.
Government rules and regulations aim to curate a liveable but simulated life while the battle with the virus continues. Humans are gripping desperately to the hope that a future resembling pre-covid life is attainable. This simulated reality and its limitations on society have created a grander appreciation for the small moments in life. The impact of the virus on our loved ones, society, and culture has made us prioritise differently. However, it has also resulted in an idealisation of pre covid life and its post-pandemic potential. Life in 2019 is portrayed as a utopian dream, not fully appreciated when we lived through it. Coronavirus has warped the human gauge for reality; we are no longer sure of ‘life as usual’; life is not usual; therefore, we must imagine life out with a pandemic.
Displaying seven Bio and Body Artists, The New Normal? Zine offers a collection of ideas, expressing art-science practices and their pandemic development and encouraging its contributors and viewers to consider their own new normal.
A small place to bring candlelight to…
Alongside the publication, The New Normal? presented Gaia Tretmanis’ A small place to bring candlelight to…
A deconstructed exhibition, A small place to bring candlelight to… displays the internals of Tretmanis’ practice through the documented construction of her work presented in The New Normal? Zine. An online experience, the exhibition included video, photography, sound, and light displays, offering an insight into an artist’s practice in a global pandemic. Just as we have been exposed to new and innovative sciences throughout the Pandemic, A small place to bring candlelight to… combined science, art, and innovation, creating an exclusive experience available for a limited run.
As part of The New Normal? project, Covid Conversations acts as a platform for science and art professionals to discuss their personal and professional pandemic experiences, expressing their ‘new normal’. A trustful space for explanation, frustration, self-reflection and casual conversation.
Restriction. Intervention. Connection.
This multi-media exhibition combined a simultaneous analysis of Covid-19’s effect on the online shopping industry and the traditional routines of viewing art.
During a 24 hour period, a selection of artworks appeared, hidden in plain sight, across pre-existing platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, Depop and eBay. The artworks were viewable by placing 1, 2 or all 3 keywords, HANDCUFFS, WHISKEY and TELEPHONE, in the search bar of each shopping site. After the day-long event, a catalogue was produced to document the exhibition and each work’s fleeting display.
This project was curated alongside Louise Burns and Sam M Harley and featured works by Amy Kim Grogan, Emma Grady, Anna Andrea Winther, Olga Ouyang, Keris Heading, Sam Branden, and Alex Warner.