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Sofie Dieu

Sofie Dieu. Longing for Home, embroidery on cotton fabric, 320cm diameter, 2019.

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What's your relationship to Kingston? 

I work with first generation Australian women from the City of Kingston.

artist medium

Textile and multi-media work.

Describe your art or craft practice in a few sentences

My project Longing for Home is a visual art Community based project that talks about womanhood and immigration, displacement. It aims at bringing the community together to celebrate first generation Australian women's personal narratives and creativity. In the context of immigration, teasing out the emotionally charged meaning of home, migrant women have worked with myself since October 2019.

Artist bio 

Sofie's collaborations include working with Sydney Biennale, the Black Dog Institute and the Mosaic Festival. Her work has been extensively shown in Gippsland and more recently was exhibited at Latrobe Regional Gallery. Her painting is published in The Spirit of the Bush, Art of Gippsland.

In 2019, Creative Gippsland invited Sofie Dieu to its Artist in Community Programme. That year, she also took part in Les Lizières (Fr.) and Falls Creek (VIC) residencies.

describe your creative business or arts group

I work as an independent artist and collaborate with local councils and organisations such as the Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women's Coalition and the City of Kingston.

How can the public support your arts group?

Participating in the workshops I offer, sharing their experience with the organiser and their community is helpful. Going to my show planned next year as well as by sharing on social media the work that I do with the communities. Buying /commissioning my art is also of great support.

do you have a favourite artist or artwork?

One avant-garde artist I hold in high regards is Katy B Plummer (@katybplummer). Her art speaks with finesse and humour about our society, its issues around women's condition and representation. She has developed a craft that is very distinctive. She literally has magick fingers, everything she touches turns into gold.

what was your first experience of art?

It was through church. I used to live right next to the basilica where French kings were coronated. The multi-layered architecture, the filtered light, the quality of echo, the lace on the altar... though I am not a religious person, all of it can be found in my work.

How has the current situation changed your approach to making art and running your arts group?

As many artists I had to move online, which has its challenges when working with Communities. I am slowly finding ways that work for others and myself. Holding a “movie night” and an online book launch for the Community with Westall Hub and Kingston Arts is one of them.

What motivates your creative business or arts group? 

Healing and the numinous are at the heart of my work. I also talk a lot about the natural environment, womanhood, and rituals. I reach out to Communities who are left at the margins of our society due to their background, their beliefs, their geographical remoteness.

What are you looking forward to after the pandemic? 

I am looking forward being able to show all the beautiful embroideries first generation Australian women from the City of Kingston and the City of Monash did with me for Longing for Home. It is a project that hold very close to my heart, and I hope it will speak to many.