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Exploring Individuality through Art

GNSGNS photo
Sofia in front of some of her artwork

Sofia Hewlett ’23 was one of four students who showcased her art at GNS’s annual Grade 12 IB Art Exhibition last month. Her pieces aimed to represent the feelings and emotions she had experienced throughout the year.

“I wanted to have it as a way to look back at what I was feeling throughout these times in my life because they are pretty crazy,” she explained. “My main goal was so people can have a glimpse of what my life is like and relationships with my friends.

Out of her collection, Sofia says her favourite piece is titled “Singularity,” and is an oil pastel. She wrote that the piece represented expressing one’s individuality, particularly in a time of conformity. She used a reference photo of her friend Joelle, which was taken with a fisheye lens.

Sofia explained that the figure was done in black and white, representing the way society tends to confine young minds to one path and the struggle of navigating societal expectations, while the red streak symbolizes the desire to break the mold and embrace the beauty of standing out.

“I’m inspired by looking into people’s lives, my life in particular, and representing how other people feel and how I feel,” she said. “Also mental health and transition periods, as I am in one currently, and looking into the future with the concept of the unknown.”

As for what media she likes to work with, Sofia says currently it’s ink, but she also likes oil pastel, which she used for “Singularity,” as well as acrylic paints.

“When people see my work I hope they are getting that glimpse into my life, and something they can relate to,” she said. “I did a piece of my dad, and it was him decorating the Christmas tree, and that’s special to me. I know there are a lot of people that can relate to that time of warmth and family.”

Sofia has always liked to draw and focused on art when she enrolled into the HL IB Visual Arts class.

“I like letting my mind go and not having to think about everything else, and expressing myself on the page,” she added.

For post-secondary, Sofia doesn‘t plan to pursue visual arts but wants to focus on creative aspects and having ways to express herself and her individuality.

“I’m hoping to study landscape architecture,” she said. “There are still some artistic elements in it, but maybe I’ll do a class. I also want to get into pottery.”