2024 Grad Show

Sophie Hartges

AUArts Grad Show Untitled_Artwork 102



Life's beauty lies in the diversity of our perceptions. My art celebrates this diversity, inspired by the phenomenon of pareidolia—finding meaning in randomness, like seeing shapes in clouds or faces in tree bark.
Inkblot drawings are my medium of choice, inviting viewers to project their inner worlds onto the forms I create. Through my art, I aim to evoke the joy of discovering hidden connections and illusions, while questioning the meaning of meaning-making.
Navigating through the unpredictable process of inkblots often feels like stumbling around in the dark, guided only by intuition and sensory cues. Some images reveal themselves quickly, while others require hours of contemplation. When a form becomes identifiable, I refine it to enhance its recognizability. But even so, what I see will be far different from what you see.
My work embodies pareidolic klecksography, blending material and spiritual insights through energetic alignment. Each piece is a journey of discovery, inviting viewers to explore their own perceptions.


Made through transmediation, this work sources photographs and drawings from my own catalogue, to dissect the semantic, visual indicators that relate to subconscious behavioural patterns and emotional regulation. It is an exercise in visual meaning-making, that questions its own relevance within the context of self-understanding.

As above, so below: image bank

Beginning as an exercise in free expression, speed and intuition, these works evolved as a discussion with the other. Negative space dances in and out of each drawing in a different way, bringing awareness to the presence and absence of form. Influenced by the hermetic principle of polarity, these works display mediation between right and wrong, true and false, what is and what isn’t, illustrating the spectrum that is inherent to all perspectives.

Beyond the veil

Black ink splatters across the underlying paper. Within some of these splatters, strange forms can be seen of mushrooms, fairy creatures, or faces. Memories of other worlds living beyond the veil ruffle your hair and tickle your skull. This is not the first time, but what do you mean to me? Why can't I see you now?

demon daycare

Delving into my psyche through art, I confront fragmented faces and creatures, channeling troubling emotions. Despite their familiarity, I grapple with their purpose in my life. Embracing Winnicott's concept of "play," I embody both child and psychoanalyst, engaging with my subconscious fear in a new light.
Through this process these “demons” of mine have a place to rest and play themselves. They have been exorcised from my awareness, and captured in time and space. I can look at them here and now, and let them exist outside of myself. In this sense, this work is a sort of demon daycare. So I invite you now to do the same. I give you permission to let go of your fears, and leave them here. I promise that they will be safe.


Nestled within the forehead of a peculiar, fleshy yet skeletal pig-like creature, adorned with oversized bat-like ears, and a crooked, toothy grin, a peculiar visage of a squinting woman emerges. Beneath this initial layer of mutation, another barely recognizable entity lurks within, shrouded in the flesh of the former, revealed only through its unsettling, wide-set eyes.
Crafted from blotting ink on paper, this artwork delves into the dystopian possibilities of genetic mutation—whether triggered by catastrophic radiation or a nightmarish lab accident, it speculates on the potential futures of life.

Spirit Talk

This work began as a distanced conversation with my loved ones, but later transformed into a conversation with those entities/ energies we feel through our intuition. This work was made in a meditative state, conceptually referencing collective consciousness, intuition, transmutation and divination practices. The heterotopic space being shown is one that relates to dreams, spirits, and energetic forces that exist outside of physical space.

This site may contain artworks with provocative content that some viewers may find uncomfortable or upsetting. AUArts supports a culture of non-censorship and ongoing conversations about contemporary art.