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The uncertainty in Sophia Szilagyi's images is alluring. Szilagyi utilises 'half-light' levels in her natural ocean and forest scenes, such as courage and clearing, which raise a series of questions for the viewer. Will the foreboding darkness and mist dissipate to expose a brighter day? Or are these scenes just the start of more sinister weather conditions ahead? Szilagyi often incorporates a haunting human presence in many of her pieces by using features such as eyes, faces and figures, as seen in previous works such as into the woods.
SOPHIA SZILAGYI clearing, 2011, pigment print on archival rag paper, edition of 20, 37 x 42.7 cm
Szilagyi's clever use of digital printmaking has resulted in inkjet pigment prints that capture the halfway point between two extremes i.e. light and dark, rather than focusing on a direct contrast between the two.
James Makin Gallery Manager, Marguerite Brown explains "[Szilagyi's] imagery is constructed through digital printmaking techniques, layered to create textural complexities, while capturing the oscillations in mood and atmosphere that mirror the ebb and flow of human emotions. Fear, wonder, and danger exist in these images that capture the beauty and grandeur found in the physical world, while also charting an internal topography."
There is a dreamlike quality to Szilagyi's pieces – a sense of ambiguity that is blurred with faded memories. Maybe the vague air of familiarity in Szilagyi's works arises from her interpretation of elements from renowned historical paintings.
SOPHIA SZILAGYI endless, 2011, pigment print on archival rag paper, edition of 10, 90 x 124.5 cm
Szilagyi's work will also be featured in a forthcoming book, New Romantics, which aims to highlight the passion, awe and atmosphere that many contemporary artists are exploring and incorporating in their current practices. An exhibition accompanying the book will also be held at Gippsland Regional Art Gallery.
SOPHIA SZILAGYI wave, 2011, pigment print on archival rag paper, edition of 20, 50 x 57.34 cm
With a Bachelor of Fine Arts from RMIT and a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the University of Melbourne, Szilagyi's works have been acquired by a number of Australian print collections, including Print Council of Australia, Queensland University of Technology Art Museum, Geelong Gallery, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, University of Ballarat, Latrobe University, Latrobe Regional Gallery, Charles Darwin University- Artist Books Collection and State Library of Victoria - Artist Books Collection. The Print Council of Australia also commissioned Szilagyi to produce a series of prints for their annual print commission in 2005.