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Artist ID: 2523

“Or maybe I discovered something more fundamental: worry is a constriction. A mind narrows when it has too much to bear. Art is not born of unwanted constriction. Art wants formless and spacious quiet, anti-social daydreaming, time away from the consumptive volume of everyday life.” Kyo Maclear, Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation
Scientific illustration inspires my works and grounds them in hard empirical reality. Documentation and dissection of bodies and ideas prescribe new understandings to both similar and dissimilar constructs. The body as a subject matter is viewed both as a whole and as a sum of its parts united by threads of the biological—blood, lymph, bile, saliva—and the spiritual—auras, prayer, and meditation. My hope is that the scientific inspirations of my works offer critical perspectives of the intangible, emotional, and psychological.

The development of my works is a duality of a meditative method coupled with a process driven style. I use the gradual accumulation of marks and a layering of information to imbue scientific formalities with layers of both entrapment and freedom. There is no determining what experiences will have a permanent impact and what scars will refuse to fade, so every idea and action is pivotal and conjointly precious. No one work develops linearly, rather they grow from a beginning unto itself and with varying intermediates in between finally resting upon an end, as in life. The first sketch often becomes one of the integral components to its completion.

The fragility of life and existence coupled with attempts at delineation in the natural sciences is a pivotal theme in my recent work. My most recent work questions and explores how Avian life often struggles upon the cusp of survival—they exhibit mathematical and spiritual migrations, they are present and yet absent, possessing of both beauty and greed. As subjects, birds are a favorite conduit of mine to express such ideas of science and spirituality; along with developing a conversation regarding morality and consciousness. For me, birds represent having the wings of possibilities, freedom of flight, precision and timing, perspective, vision and individuality, but they also crash against windows, die of hunger from lack of habitat, are cruelly used by humans and struggle in any number of ways. I hope the viewer can learn more about their identity and journey by the narratives about Avian species I create.

Sophie McVicar is a visual artist whose work celebrates the gentle beauties and tragedies of nature. She works in watercolor on paper, grounding her pieces in the endemic language used in Naturalist art and illustration. Her work embraces the scientific accuracy of the animal form, while warping the environment to spur an investigation into the dynamic flux between Chaos and Order. Sophie received her degrees in Studio Art (B.F.A.) and Chemistry (B.S.) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She currently lives and works in Birmingham, Alabama.

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