HUMAN-CENTERED TEXTILES by SOPHIE CONROY:

A Life as an Art Project

Sustainable Innovations

15. February 2024

To artist Sophie Conroy, her life is an experiment. In her latest work, she chose to live without her own house for 6 months in Eindhoven, on a quest to find more connected ways of living. During this time, she experienced living amidst chaos and connection. She found various forms of shelter and witnessed the beauty of her community. Through observing her fundamental human needs, she aims to grasp their authentic essence. Embracing the discomfort of houselessness allowed her to uncover valuable insights, challenging traditional notions of art, ownership, and community.

Textiles, for Sophie, become a medium that provides protection while revealing the vulnerability of the self. Confronting existential challenges during her houselessness, textiles transform into symbols of resilience and self-discovery.

Sophie crafts her textiles using primarily found materials, notably her own clothing. She believes in the power of textiles as a communication tool, using them to capture the essence of community and home. She peels away the capitalist consumer dimension of fabric, recognising it as a fundamental connection between body and environment.

Sophie Conroy doesn’t just create artworks; she constructs spaces for dialogue and interaction. Her installations incorporate videos, tapestries, drawings, writing and projections, creating a captivating fusion of textiles and visual art. The space and Sophie herself become part of the art, inviting observers to immerse themselves in this interactive environment.

Sophie emphasises that our focus should not be on designing more ‘stuff’ but on creating new perspectives and ways of seeing. Through creating tools to shift our perspectives, Sophie believes we can move away from the current patterns of exploitation, isolation, and consumption and towards societies grounded in trust, joy, and connection.

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