Six questions for
Cecilia Sordi Campos

Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Cecilia Sordi Campos.

Artist Cecilia Sordi Campos
Lives in Australia / Brazil

How do you describe your own art practice?

I see my practice as a purely ludic one. While aspects of my projects demand rigid research of the concepts and themes I am working on, the making itself has to come from a place of play. I mainly use photography, but I also experiment with printmaking processes. Sometimes a final image will take over a month to be fully developed as I’m interested in disrupting the processes and materials I am using. The development of visual language to me acts as a translation of experiences to something tangible, something suggestive rather than descriptive. It is never linear, and my practice becomes more and more process-driven than outcome-driven.

Which question or theme is central in your work?

I migrated to Australia from Brazil when I was 17, so inherently this act of relocating plays a great part in the attempt to navigate the distance, and the in-betweenness feelings that come with migrating. All my projects essentially explore peculiarities of my migrant experience, identity and the hybridity of my cultural influences, but my project Tem Bigato Nessa Goiaba directly addressed my migration. I am also interested in understanding how autobiographical projects that place value on ‘narratives of the self’ can create an opening for a dialogue on the complex experiences of being-ness, relationship dynamics, and womanhood and the female body.

What was your first experience with art?

I vividly remember the first time I encountered Brazilian modernist painter Tarsila do Amaral’s paintings Abaporu and Antropofagia. I was a child then, but the colours and shapes continue to stay with me. Most of her paintings now live outside of Brazil, and in 2019 there was a big retrospective of her work at MASP (Museum of São Paulo).
I flew from Australia to see it, and it was the most surreal, emotional experience to be in the room with her work!

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

This varies immensely. When I’m manically working on project, I try to stay away from looking at photographs. Photography is my main medium, and I’m afraid that looking at others’ works may influence too much my visual language. I much prefer burying my head in books, and at times it only takes one word to prick something in me. I’m fascinated by language, as I often live life in between two languages: my mother tongue Portuguese and English. I’m also becoming slightly obsessed with performance and how dancers use their body for communication.

What do you need in order to create your work?

I’ve come to realise that I cannot not make work, so I always need to be making in order to make sense of the world, to make sense of the things happening to me and for me. My work is so personal and autobiographical, so the line between my artist practice and personal life is quite blurred as these two are intrinsically linked. I only need to be fully present in the world to make work.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

I recently saw a performance titled Impermanence by the Sydney Dance Company, and the viscerality of the music and dance continue to haunt me.

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