This is a guest post by Sophie Hammer, founder of Unusual Girl Art.
I’m a resin artist living in downtown Penge, south east London. I create unique resin homeware, wall art and furniture and, pre-pandemic, taught resin workshops.
Back in the late 90s I studied Fine Art at Leeds Uni but my degree left me completely unprepared for considering it as a career. What’s more, my studies had made me question the point of making art at all (4 years of reading Derrida can do that to you). So I followed the lure of working in the media and, as weird as it seems now, didn’t so much as pick up a paintbrush for a decade.
However, as I entered my 30s I started to suffer from bouts of anxiety and feeling weirdly adrift from my own body. It took me a while but eventually I realised that an artist needs to create to feel connected to the world and their sense of self. After years of repressing this impulse, once I started making things I started to feel more like me. This was the beginning of the upcycling boom and, never one to do something simple, I was inspired by the notion of ‘artcycling’. So I took unwanted furniture (from relatives, friends, street corners…) and deconstructed it, painted it, decoupaged it, put it back together, not necessarily the way it started. There were chairs that were awkward to sit in, drawers that didn’t open properly but I was in my element.