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Broken Dreams of An Athlete

The Mosman Daily 25/2/11

Kate Crawford

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The paintings in artist Sophie Cape’s first solo exhibition reflect the pain of her former career as a downhill ski racer. Sophie’s paintings have been described as “shocking in impact with their shattered bones and broken dreams”. Sophie grew up in Mosman and is the daughter of Mosman artist Ann Cape. All the paintings, now on exhibit at the Tim Olsen Gallery in Woollahra, sold out before the exhibition officially opened.  The exhibition concludes this Sunday. Artist John Olsen has described Sophie as a “bright morning star”, adding the exhibition was “worth taking special note of”. Sophie who when to school at Redlands at Cremorne, was an Australian champion downhill ski racer before her Olympics dream was shattered by a serious fall. She went on to become a sprint cyclist but inury finally forced her to change direction and she graduated last year from the National Art School, winning the school’s prestigious drawing prize. Gallery director Tim Olsen said Sophie’s experience as an athlete with “its strength, speed, adrenaline, fear, sacrifice and disappointment left its mark on her psyche” and became the inspiration for this series of painting. Olsen describes the work as “shocking in impact with their shattered bones and broken dreams, yet strangely alluring with their calligraphic lines and seductive surface.” Sophie’s paintings each measure about 2m by 3m and are mixed media, including oil paint and bitumen. Meanwhile, Sophie’s mother Ann Cape spent a night at a campsite at Taronga Zoo last week as one of the artists chosen in this years Artist in Residence program. The other artists who camped overnight included Wendy Sharpe, Jenny Sages and Cammeray sculptor Alex Kosmos. John Olsen, 83, will also take part in the program but excused himself from the overnight stay. Ann said the artists had “up close and personal encounters with unusual creatures great and small”.

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