Sonya Rothwell

Sonya Rothwell was born in Ireland and raised in England, Australia and Spain. She moved to Sydney in 1998 and now calls it home. Rothwell has sketched, painted and created all her life, completing her formal arts education in London, England at Central Saint Martins College of Art (BA Hons Degree) and Wimbledon College of Art (Art Foundation Course). Working in both London and Sydney as a successful designer and art director for several years before following her heart and becoming a full time artist. Her belief that 'as you dream you shall become' empowered this side-step, which she sees as a 'calling' rather than a career. Her innate design sense permeates her art. She blends graphic 'nervous lines' with entangled, sensuous figures, painterly brush strokes, abstract textures and luminous colour. The 'mood' of her subjects often eludes to a latent narrative which on closer inspection has a brooding intensity.

Rothwell's fascination with human connection, emotion, energy and spirit breaths an air of ethereal romanticism into her work. Her large scale, figurative drawings are unintentionally autobiographical. She draws inspiration from her own life, her experiences and emotions. For her painting is an organic process that defies intention. It is a journey into the unknown where she is guided to unexpected places; "my subconscious floods the paper, pools and spreads – with each line, stroke, droplet, I learn a little more about myself." Rothwell also has a love of portraiture which led her to paint Wayne Cooper (fashion designer) and Steve Crombie (global explorer) for submission to the Archibald Prize 2010 and 2011, Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW). She has also tackled self portraits for submission to the Dobell Prize for Drawing 2010, AGNSW and the Sir John Sulman Prize 2011, AGNSW.