Sophie Myfanwy Wellan
Sophie was born in North Wales and now lives and works in Pembrokeshire. She studied sculpture in both West Wales College of Arts and Falmouth, and has widely exhibited both nationally and internationally. Sophie has a passion for materials that drives her work. Through the process her aim is to discover the particular ‘language’ of that material, its essence and how that essence changes or vibrates when connected or juxtaposed with other materials. With plants, seeds, beeswax, precious metals and other materials taken from nature she recreates the universe as she experiences it. Her work is a dynamic relationship with the natural world, by doing this she is reaching back to a relationship with the earth, which aims to reconnect with it at a deeper level – the seasons, the movement of the planets and the growth, death and rebirth one witnesses in nature. This is an ancient language rediscovered and redefined for the twenty first century.
Our primary physical connection with the earth that nurtures us is through our feet. Throughout our history we have been shod in materials drawn from nature, created by artisans with knowledge, tools, materials and processes all drawn from nature. In this collection Sophie draws upon our ancient connection with the earth and the materials it provides us.Healing plants in beeswax have been used as balms and ointments since man first walked the earth, by ancient people across the planet, egyptians and iron age celts and is still used in exactly the same way today, healing and preserving, sealing and antiseptic. The bees themselves without which there would be no pollination, no plant life and therefore no mammal life on this planet are at this time in a fragile state and therefore so are we. The smallness of these shoes and their obvious fragility symbolise how vulnerable we are, they are a message that we must learn to tread lightly on the earth and a plea for a time of healing, of ourselves, of our nature and connection with the earth and for our stripped and abused planet.
Beeswax slippers designed with medicinal dried ferns