Sophie Rose Templeton (she/her)
Sophie Rose Templeton (b. 1998, Scotland) is a multi-media artist based in Edinburgh who explores concepts of femininity, sexuality and the self. Most recently, Sophie has been interested in the vilified portrayal of women within narratives- ranging from Mythological tales, in particular Greek folklore, to contemporary depictions of women within horror culture and how these tales have the ability to rewrite women’s history. Sophie investigates the way in which a visual narrative can incorporate the flaws of patriarchal Mythologies combined with contemporary strategies of beauty and quenched sexual agencies. As a result, Sophie uses her practice as a mode to distort such tales and focal characters to reassess a woman’s role in history and reassumes her power and identity, despite patriarchal narratives and norms in Western societies. Her work represents the exposure of extremes- she reassumes the skin as a suit to explore the wonder and fear of the uncanny.
The human body has always been of interest to me; from the malleability of its biology to the power of its immovable political categorisation. Our bodies are our first mode of expression: whether it is through body language or movement or simple characteristics, i.e., gender, race or ability. I believe the social manipulation of the form and the ideals attached to such traditionalisms have doctored the way in which a person perceives their own self and body. Subsequently, my practice attempts to alter one’s attachment to the form; thus, contradicting reality and engaging a fictional body that is free from social restrictions. I create incomprehensibly contorted creatures- extending the possibilities of what the human body can do as it tries to alter its own reality.
My otherworldly creations, predominantly based on an abstraction of the female form, lean towards the monstrous and the unknown. My ‘monsters’ as I prefer to call them, act as vehicles to contradict societal subscriptions, regarding fabricated aesthetics and limiting body norms. They claim their own autonomy and consequently can assume an advocative role within a population and expose dialogues surrounding identity and preordained perceptions. By interpreting humanity’s general disconnection to our own physiques, my works exist as the antithesis of beauty whilst suggesting the sinister undertones of threats to the self.
The contemporary body, to me, is one of ambiguity. It can be everything and nothing all at once. The archaic implications of generations past are still inscribed on the form that we all know- it is impossible to disentangle oneself from predetermined norms and assumed beauty standards. Although I believe this to be a deep-rooted mentality that has spanned throughout the generations, I do believe contemporary living has done nothing to extinguish this notion. The rise of technology, social media and the integration of artificial intelligence and other such programs into our everyday lives has blinded us to what the body really is. What reality really is. Without this grasp on authenticity, it is almost impossible to truly believe our own existence, both physically and conceptually- and in my opinion, a complete isolation from the self slowly develops.