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ALCHEMIST:IN:CHIEF

SONYA

ROTHWELL::

'Queen of the Galaxy' renowned for
her iridescent oils of the cosmos

P R O C E S S >

                                                                

Like space, Sonya Rothwell's paintings expand in all directions, off canvas onto couture, cushions, fabric, objet, wallpapier and papier as six unparalleled collections in the art, interiors and luxury lifestyle arena : Sonya's recognised as a prolific contemporary bespoke creator of highly collectable hand-painted and limited edition pieces :

 

Sonya's busy hands have conjured since she was able, leading her to arts school Hurtwood House, Surrey, UK to concentrate on painting, writing and performing : Growing up on the move between England, Ireland, Spain and Australia cemented her love of people and adventure allowing her free-spiritedness to flourish, so naturally she embarked on her first of many solo trips aged only seventeen : Inner nomad released, Sonya explored Australasia during her gap year before declining her place at drama school to complete her formal arts training at internationally renowned Central Saint Martins : University of the Arts London : When asked to arrive at the beginning of term with a 3D sculpture that described herself she famously baked a fruit cake :

 

Sonya Rothwell worked for several years in London and Sydney as a much sought after designer then senior art director on luxury brand campaigns such as Nike at high-octane global ad agencies before following her heart and becoming a full time artist : Her earlier figurative works explored energy, spirit and human connection, weaving kaleidoscopic dancing lines with abstracted painterly strokes and expanding pools of brilliant colour : Drawing inspiration from her own life, people and things around her, she stripped her subjects bare, leaving behind only their essence : She exhibited in many Australian group and solo shows before setting up Pop Up Gallery, Sydney selling to interior designers and private collectors : Sonya was represented in Australia by Rex-Livingston Art Dealer :

 

Wanderlust abound, in 2012 Sonya spent several months touring the world on an inspirational sketching sabbatical, traveling throughout Asia, Europe, America and South America in search of colour & culture and all things new, old and peculiar : With her then seven year old daughter Peony in tow and only a backpack between them, they were 'as free as the birds' : Sonya revelled in this freedom and luxury of time to explore new places and faces, form, flora and fauna – precious playtime with Peony, most of which was spent observing, absorbing and just being :

 

Returning to England in 2013 Sonya set up residence in stunning National Trust Grade II Georgian manor house The Courts, Wiltshire, within enchanting The Courts Garden that’s open to the public : The following year she founded Gallery Beautiful Ltd showing contemporary works by award-winning 'alchemists' including as Lisa Wright (Threadneedle Prize 2013 winner), Craig Ruddy (Archibald Prize 2004 winner), Lori Park (Sotheby's Beyond Limits 2014), Frédérique Morrel (embroidered taxidermy sculptor), Ilona Szalay (Saatchi Investment Artist 2014) and Dorcas Casey (Banksy's 'Dismaland' 2015) : The gallery received lots of attention in the press due to its refreshing break from tradition by showing notable art in a elegant home setting : Still very much a fine artist Sonya considered herself an 'accidental art dealer' and soon expanded Gallery Beautiful into an art, style and interiors emporium : Sonya can be found conjuring daily in one of her studios at The Courts, often live painting in front of a crowd, happily chatting to people while she works :

 

Sonya’s infectious effervescence touches everyone around her : Her boundless energy, spirituality and creativity, love of the arts, performance, staging, people and parties has naturally evolved her enchanting abode into a private salon – a centre of spirit; the arts, meditation, healing and higher consciousness : A magical retreat d'art filled with colourful, creative people and ‘happenings’ that would make the Bloomsbury Set feel very much at home : Guests include actor Joshua Sasse – Disney’s ‘Galavant’ star, Golden Globe winning film producer Gareth Wiley and Shakespearean acting troupe The HandleBards, as well as many artists, healers and mystics from near and far :

 

Sonya's urge to leave no stone unturned regularly steers her off the beaten track allowing for sacred time out of her busy life to also journey within : Thus igniting her desire to be the change she wishes to see in the world and help many of the beautiful children she meets on her travels by creating Temple Beautiful – a flowering of consciousness : An umbrella charity helping small sustainable NGOs making a big difference to the lives of disadvantaged third world children :

 

Sonya's life-long interest in spirit also lead her to a transformative meeting with Dr. Jacqueline Hobbs PhD (Tibetan Studies, Cambridge) who – through meditation – helped her unlock her full creative potential : A bird released : It's with thanks to Jacqueline that Sonya's recent work is born of Alchemy :

 

 Photographs by Sam Fielding 

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