Sophie Mellor is an artist based in Plymouth and London. She has established a collaborative practice over the last fifteen years, working across disciplines but with a specific interest in art and social transaction.
Sophie works as part of Close and Remote, with Simon Poulter. Close and Remote are currently undertaking an Essex Cultural Diversity Project ‘Days Like These‘ using watercolours, VR and sound to reclaim the beauty of Jaywick Sands.
Recent work includes ‘Bring Your Own Future’ (2017-2018) using watercolours and virtual reality to explore new ways of seeing Slough, commissioned by HOME Slough. ‘Live Model‘ (2017) a video and performative artwork commissioned by Bristol University, investigating regulatory systems that affect people in a variety of locations, including Bristol, Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil. Invited participants (local residents, council workers, community workers, councillors) were taken on an immersive performance guided by The Control Voice and The Reality Guide. They experienced abstract regulation made visible. They experienced The Live Model.
Life Chances (2016-17), commissioned by Productive Margins, working with low income families in Bristol and Cardiff to create a parallel universe peopled with imagined characters. The parallel universe is expressed as a co-authored novel and online jewellery business, following the life chances of a group of characters created by members of the Single Parent Action Network (Bristol) and South Riverside Community Development Centre (Cardiff), imagining the future impact of current benefit system and political climate, and how changes to the system could radically change the characters life chances.
In 2015 Close and Remote projects included: ‘We Are What We Are’, commissioned by Creative Barking and Dagenham (2015), a road movie around 50 years of working lives in Barking and Dagenham; ‘Lost Characters‘, commissioned by Sefton Borough Council, a exploration of the councils photographic archive culminating in an exhibition at The Atkinson in Southport in Spring 2015.
Other recent Close and Remote projects include ‘Zone’ a participatory performance/video at Bidston Moss Nature Reserve in the Wirral, commissioned by FACT/The Mersey Forest; ‘Here Comes Everybody‘, part of the Secret Garden Project Lewisham commissioned by UP Projects.
She is a founding member of Girl Gang (2008-present), a group of women engaged in renegotiating public space. Sophie co-founded Plan 9, an artist-led organisation in Bristol (2005-2010), curating a large body of new projects with her collaborators.