Artist based in London, UK
Sophie Cunningham (b. 1992, West Midlands, UK) is a London-based artist. She is currently studying MFA Fine Art at Goldsmiths, after graduating from Glasgow School of Art in 2015, where she was awarded the RSA John Kinross Scholarship. Her work has been shown internationally, including the Pingyao International Photography Festival in China (2015) and she has participated in the Hospitalfield Interdisciplinary Residency (2018) in Arbroath, Scotland. Recent exhibitions include 'Empty Basket' at Airspace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent.
Cunningham makes work that plays on the idiosyncrasies of contemporary consumer-culture, which is, more and more, sustained by internet-shopping and social-media. Through her work she explores the space between sculpture and fast-fashion - one of today’s key societal concerns.
Cunningham orders quantities of fast fashion items online then uses these to stage durational sculptures. The work finishes when Cunningham returns the clothes to the online retailer within the return period. This mischievous strategy questions the economics of being an artist, as well as an online shopper. As well as their physical manifestation, these sculptures are also available to view online at emptybasket.org as banal product images. By taking the artwork away from a gallery setting and into this consumer context, the work plays on the absurdities of the commercial gallery.
Photography is central to Cunningham’s practice, as a means to record these temporary sculptures, and through using commercial photography as a source material. Cunningham reworks and subverts images of clothing that is highly desirable, but also highly reproduced and disposable with processes such as screen-printing and collage.
Empty Basket, AirSpace Gallery, 4 Broad Street, Stoke-on-Trent, 17 - 30 August 2020
The Flood, The Grace and Clark Fyffe Gallery, Glasgow, 20 - 22 November 2016
Parade, Curated Performance, Kevingrove Park, Glasgow, 4 May 2015
PIN UP, 78 Buchanan Street, Glasgow, Sponsored by Lush Cosmetics, 19 - 21 September 2014
Selected Group Exhibitions
Ways & Means, Skelf virtual project space, (online) skelf.org.uk, 22 July – 20 October 2020
Goldsmiths MFA Open Studios, 2 Deptford Church Street, London, 13 - 14 March 2020 (Cancelled due to COVID-19) Installation available to view: https://vimeo.com/436476152
INTER(TWINE), Supernormal Gallery, 101 Desker Rd, Singapore, 2 February 2018
Beyond The Camera, Pingyao International Photography Festival, China, 19 - 25 September 2015
Glasgow School of Art Degree Show, Tontine Building, Merchant City, Glasgow, 13 - 20 June 2015
The Night Fair: Sophie Cunningham, Blobby Depp and Daisy McManaman, SWG3 Arts Space, Stobcross Road, Glasgow, 28 September 2014
So Far So Good, WASPS Studios, Hanson Street, Glasgow, 24 - 30 April 2014
GARDEN, Collaborative Show with Sebastian Mary Tay, Studio 41, West Graham Street, Glasgow, 2- 7 June 2013
Distill, Glasgow School of Art, 250 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, 4 - 8 February 2013
Strange Lands, Group Show, Shotgun Studios, London, 15 September - 13 October 2017
Royal Scottish Academy, John Kinross Scholarship, Florence, Italy, October 2015
Hospitalfield, Interdisciplinary Residency, Arbroath, Scotland, May 2018
Goldsmiths, University of London MFA Fine Art, 2019 - 2021
Glasgow School Of Art, BA (First Class Honours) Fine Art Photography, 2011 – 2015
Loughborough University, Art and Design Foundation (Distinction) 2010 – 2011