Sonja Vietoris

Master of Fine Art

About me

I am an interdisciplinary artist and my work is research based. I studied German and French at UCL in 1978. At that time I joined the ICA in London and regularly visited the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. I have lived and worked in Austria, Spain, Italy and Germany. Beyond Europe I travelled in Pakistan and New Mexico. My place of retreat was a village in the Loire where French friends lent me their studios and weaving looms. Speaking different languages allows me to experience different ways of being and seeing. This I enjoy. After teaching EFL and European languages for many years I completed a Foundation degree in fine art in 2015. I fell run and climb, and am presently showing artwork at The Green Man Gallery, Buxton.

Project Title: Identity and Vulnerability: Germania Before and After 1933, The Female Line. The title is from Friedrich Overbeck's painting “Italia und Germania” depicting friendship between two cultural regions before they each became a united national state. This project originates from personal family photographs and family oral history and researches the telling of history. I have two nationalities, German and British, and I move within both historical narratives defenseless and insecure. My overwhelming experience as I practise is one of vulnerability. What to hide, what to show, if anything? I place traces of family history in objects that I make.

In my work, lace with its concealing/unveiling qualities is a metaphor for the telling of history and I ask, what is the story behind the story? Mesh, clay, plaster. 22 x 20 x 20 cm

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Here the iron warp threads steel up silk and wool weft threads creating a weave with core power and the ability to stand, and defy the concrete that traps it. 50 cm x 35 cm

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Cloth on corrugated iron suspends the corrosion of time, and the politics of taught identity and membership, and propaganda of a nation state, are raised out and revisited. Iron, cloth, paper. 78 x 68 cm

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My bed with bedclothes is the site of contrasting aspects and events in women’s lives. Screenprints on paper, wood, paper, photographs. 168 x 78 x 70 cm

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Refugee is lurking in the corridor. She may or may not make it into the show. She needs to get through Security. Oak, iron, thread, cloth, concrete. 80 x 35 x 20 cm

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Iron wire reveals and protects the past. Elsewhere, copper wire references our present age, with its many attractions and colours, and those same dangers of the past. Iron, glass, photographs, wood. 98 x 26 cm.

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My work shows the fragility of matter as thing, and the expansiveness of transformable matter as idea. I knit with metal wire, for many hours, to illustrate women's resilience. Copper wire. 200 x 24 cm

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There is the idea that magic, history and suffering are stored in the body and passed through generations. If so, daughter, son, what do I pass you? Screenprint on paper. 140 x 104 cm

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I think words as I make. I record and perform my words, and repeat them in my art. Screenprint on paper. 92 x 86 cm

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Why I cannot Wear Stripes. Oak, wire, thread, iron, cloth, concrete, Jesmonite. 80 x 90 x 60 cm

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Keywords: Fine Art, Print, Sculpture, Spoken Word, Herstory, Material