Sophie Engels

Sophie Engels is an interdisciplinary artist born in 1997 in Roermond, the Netherlands. She grew up in a small town in the south of the Netherlands and is now based in Rotterdam. Recently she graduated from Sint Joost Arts and Research in Breda.

Her graduation project “No man’s land” is awarded with the St Joost Penning provided to her by the school, as well as the city of Breda.

Flyer of No Man's Land by Sophie Engels

Sophie, 2022 | Duct tape, tights, fibrefill | Various dimensions

Sophie Engels

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In “No man’s land”, Sophie takes on the role of an observer, capturing her own experiences as a queer woman as well as other women’s experiences. She translated these experiences into audio sculptures which tell different stories of womanhood. Together, these elements make for an interactive installation with a focus on the act of listening.

Engels travelled to Portugal to create the first mold and sees great value in the almost ritual-like process. Being physically close to her subjects while covering their legs in duct tape forces an immediate, intimate connection. The hours it takes to make the mold help build a bond in which these personal stories can be shared.

Sophie Engels would like to shed a light on stories and experiences that otherwise would not have left female safe spaces; their bedrooms, their sleepovers, their phone calls, or their minds. The installations purposefully make the audience come uncomfortably close, making them do the work to hear stories that are oftentimes ignored.

Sierra, 2022 | Duct tape, tights, fibrefill | Various dimensions

Sophie Engels

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Ines, 2022 | Duct tape, tights, fibrefill | Various dimensions

Sophie Engels

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Ishara, 2022 | Duct tape, tights, fibrefill | Various dimensions

Sophie Engels

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People being able to observe the ones listening makes for an interesting power dynamic between the listener and the observer. With the discomfort that comes with being watched, the ones interacting with the work become part of the work.

The installation, which some will consider a feminist work, is aware of the exclusion of POC women within the feminist movement and would like to offer a space for these voices.

Engels’ interdisciplinary work uses analogue photography, writing, audio, performance and installation to convey its messages. Messages of womanhood, which include intimacy and love, but also power dynamics, violence, and the roles that we play.

Nichon, 2022 | Duct tape, tights, fibrefill | Various dimensions

Sophie Engels

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