Sophy Hollington is one of our favourite artists and illustrators. She specialises in linoleum prints, often based around folkloric, archaic themes. The lengthy and permanent nature of working with linoleum forces Sophy into making bold choices and standing by them — something we find fascinating.
A little while back, we teamed up with Sophy to create a unique jersey based on the cautionary tales of Struwwelpeter. We loved it, you loved it, so we decided to work together once more, this time on the Percival AW23 collection. We had a little catch up with Sophie to find out what’s new since last we saw each other.
SHOP PERCIVAL X SOPHY HOLLINGTON
Hi Sophy, nice to see you again. What’s been happening with you since we last saw you…
I’ve made the move from the city (Brighton) to the countryside. I’m living in a small village nestled in the South Downs, right next to the chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters. I have a studio at home but I’ve kept my studio in Brighton and I catch a bus along the coast twice a week to go and spend some time with other people and do my post.
Other than that, I’m still working on a lot of commercial projects—a lot of music posters which I love doing—and I’ve invested in a small press to help me with producing print editions. I used to do them all by hand with a wooden spoon.
It’s this background, perseverance, and commitment that has made Sophy the artist she is today, but we’re all for the press if it means she can be more prolific. Sophy is loving having a new studio area to produce her art in.
It was a big decision to leave the city, especially as a self-employed person who has a relatively solitary job, but going to Brighton often and having visitors on the weekends keeps me feeling connected. The quiet, how aware of nature I now feel, being next to the sea and walking out of my house into fields has helped quieten my brain, relax my body and create a lot more space for creative thinking. My studio is still quite ramshackle, a lot of stuff is on the floor, but just having the space to work from home feels like an enormous luxury. Importantly, though, whilst I don’t have any shops or infrastructure at my doorstep anymore, I do have a pub 10 minutes walk away.
Who needs infrastructure when you’ve got ginfrastructure? That doesn’t really work, does it? Guinnfrastructure? Worse, probably. Anyway… What projects has Sophy got coming up for the rest of the year, you ask?
Good things. A book cover, a poster for a big arts institution, and a book I’ve been working on for almost three years should hopefully see the light of day come the beginning of ’24.
She’s busy. And we just wasted several seconds of her life on our very bad puns. Another thing Sophy has been working on is the Percival AW23 collection. We asked her about the inspiration behind her designs.
Chris came to me with some quite specific ideas for a piece that should be based around the classic Grimm’s fairytale of Hansel and Gretel. He gave me this wonderful reference of a textile/tapestry design that told a story in rows of ornamental, decorative embroidery like a tableaux. That formed the basis for the composition, and I used my specific way of drawing/carving to create a piece that told the story of Hansel and Gretel in this specific way. I particularly enjoyed visualising the witch for this one.
SHOP PERCIVAL X SOPHY HOLLINGTON