Artists in Quarantine: Sofía Clausse, Artist

25 June 2020

Sofía Clausse was born in Argentina in 1989, grew up in Portugal, and studied at the Rhode Island School of Design in the USA. She is an artist currently doing a postgraduate course at the Royal Academy Schools in London. Her artistic practice explores questions of repetition, time, language and translation, by using painting, paper, text, custom tools and systems. 

The Keeper of the Royal Academy, Ms Rebecca Salter (now its President) was awarded the Genesis Prize in 2020 for her work with the RA Schools. She will use the £25,000 to develop a new programme that will provide graduates of the RA School with the professional skills and resilience training needed to survive as practising artists in the commercial world.

What’s your current confinement situation?

As my studio at the Royal Academy is currently closed, I moved temporarily to my old studio. It’s a short cycle ride from my house, under some railway arches.

Are you able to work, are you inspired by what we are going through or do you find it challenging?

In my practice I always work with limitations and within an economy of materials, so I’ve found these times an interesting challenge to test new limitations. For example I use paper a lot, but since I couldn’t go to shops and buy paper, I’ve been taking free newspapers and painting on top of them. Using them has given me new textures and ideas to work with. 

Do you have a routine to stay creative?

Not so much a routine, but more a process. I’ve learned over the years to understand my specific ways of working, so then I always go back to thinking through problems and questions in my own, specific way.

Do you think what you’re going through will impact your practice long term?

I was happy seeing how resourceful and quick to adapt I have been, and this is something I want to take with me in the long term. I’ve also been working on smaller pieces, which I want to continue making even after quarantine. 

Is there any advice you would like to share to fellow artists, audiences or organisations on how to find resilience?

I think mindset is very important here, rather than focusing on not being able to do something, we should shift to thinking about how to use your limitations to your advantage.

What are your hopes for the future?

I hope people use this time to realise that we can live with less stuff, consume less, and travel less, and that this time is used to reflect more on ourselves and our actions.

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