"I draw from live performances and have worked with the Welsh National Opera since 2005 to producing works that capture the moment and energy of the moving characters on stage.
I also work in portrait, creating drawings and paintings that explore the real and imagined sitter.
My silhouette drawings are site specific and installation based. The works are cut from paper and fabric and suspended in space to create a drawing hangs between the three and two dimensional. The silhouette drawing is an extension from the works on paper, examining the line and subject spatially. The work departs from the paper surface and hovers between drawing and theatrical set. The drawing has developed organically, but is dictated by both the linear grid and the space that it is contained within.
The Book of the Unreal is a personal ongoing project. This is a series of drawings that form a book of imaginary drawings. Animals are humanised and humans take on animalistic behaviours and characteristics. I also plan to create some animated drawings using The Book of the Unreal as a image source."
The Hope sister’s have been creating drawings at the Welsh National Opera since late 2005. Working directly from life, within the hubbub and flurry of live rehearsal, numerous drawings are made. The drawings are ‘live’, of that moment, they reflect the ‘voice’ of the scene and production.
The artists honed their skills at the Prince’s Drawing School, London where they observed in all their subtle variation, gestured and animate forms that gave rise to multiple figure inventions. It was an opportunity to examine a broad repertory of moving figures (dancers, acrobats, wrestlers and actors).
The sisters have exhibited extensively across England, Ireland and Wales. Exhibitions have included Wales Portrait Award 1 and 2, The Jerwood Drawing Prize and The National Eisteddfod. This engagement with the theatrical has led to work with the Monte Carlo Opera, Melbourne Opera, National Theatre of Wales, The Laban and No Fit State Circus.
Elements of theatricality link the works of Nichola Hope and Sarah Hope. In the works, theatricality comes from the subject through the use of composition, gesture, costume and props. Masquerade costume and performance all become elements of identity. On another level, the artist engages with the role of performer through the means in which the figure is represented in an imaginary space.
To draw is to see. Drawing encompasses time. Drawing contains the experience of looking and offers up another view of time. The opera drawings draw on a multitude of moments, they invite us to stop and enter their sense of time. Captured in a static image, the scenes are unfolded, emotions are expressed and memories extracted.
The theatrical artwork acknowledges reality, it allows the viewer to engage with the art form but on another level it involves the representation of things that could never otherwise be perceived. There is a coexistence of fact and fiction. In the works, theatricality comes from the subject through the use of composition, gesture, costume and props. Masquerade costume and performance all become elements of identity. On another level, the artist engages with the role of perfomer through the means in which the figure is represented in an imaginary space.
Their work with the Welsh National Opera has produced a rich, visual documentation of the opera company's history. The works on display are just some of the hundreds of drawings that have been produced during this five year period.
Qualifications and training
- 2008 MA Fine Art Painting, UWIC, Cardiff
- 2007 MA Popular Culture, Open University, Cardiff
- 2005 New Works, Helmsley Arts Centre, Helmsley, York
- 2003 Recent works, South Hill Park, Bracknell
- 2002 Solo Show, Gallery on Broadway, Cardiff
- 2002 Cowboy Boots, Memorial Gallery, Yale College, Wrexham
- 2001 New Works, Wyvern Theatre, Swindon
- 2011 UWIC Emerging Artists, Wales Millenium Centre, Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff
- 2011 Drawing Welsh National Opera: A Retrospective, Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff
- 2010 On Performance, Theatre Clwyd, Clwyd
- 2010 Eisteddfod 2010 | The National Eisteddfod of Wales, Blaenau Gwent Eisteddfod, Blaenau Gwent
- 2010 Work Selected for Welsh Artist of the Year 2010, St David's Hall, Cardiff
- 2010 BIG RESIDENCY, Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff
- 2009 Group Anniversary Show, Kooywood Gallery, Cardiff
- 2009 Pobl Yng Nghymru / People in Wales, Denbigh Library Gallery, Denbigh
- 2008 The Access All Areas Exhibition, Welsh National Opera, Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff
- 2008 RE:drawing, Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown
- 2008 Group Show, Mumbles Road Gallery, Swansea
- 2008 Kooywood Gallery Group Exhibition, Kooywood Gallery, Cardiff
- 2008 Wales Portrait II, touring show, England and Wales
- 2007 A Night At The Opera, Nuneaton Museum and Gallery, England
- 2007 Welsh National Opera Drawings, Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea
- 2007 Celf Cymreig, Washington Gallery, Penarth, Cf64 2AD (more info)
- 2006 Paentiadau, Darluniau a Phrintiau Bach/ Paintings, Drawings & Prints of the Smaller Kind, Denbigh Library, Museum and Gallery, Denbigh (more info)
- 2006 Llinellau ac Amgyffrediadau, Cootehill Library Arts Centre, Cootehill, Cavan, Eire
- 2006 Young Wales VII, ROYAL CAMBRIAN ACADEMY, Wales
- 2006 Wales Portrait, touring show, England and Wales
- 2005 New Works, Helmsley Arts Centre, York
- 2004 Art For Youth Cymru, City Hall, Cardiff
- 2004 Focal Mix, Focal Art Festival, Ruthin
- 2004 The Big Draw, Oriel Gwyngyll, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
- 2003 Bracknell Drawing Open, South Hill Park, Bracknell
- 2003 Group show, Gallery on Broadway, Cardiff
- 2002 Summer Exhibition, Oriel Plas Y Weddw, Llanbedrog
- 2000 CATREFOL, The Point, Cardiff
- 1999 Christmas Show, Fisherton Mill Gallery, Salisbury
- 1998 Graduate Show, The Gantry, Southampton
- 1998 Schema, Angelus Gallery, Winchester
- 1997 Myths, Metaphors and Space, Winchester Cathedral, Winchester
- 1996 Summer Show, Midhurst Gallery, Midhurst
- 2011 Welsh National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff
- 2010 Welsh National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff
- 2009 Melbourne Opera, Atheneum, Melbourne
- 2009 Welsh National Opera, WMC, Cardiff
- 2008 Tasmanian Story Telling Festival, The Polish Club, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
- 2008 Welsh National Opera 2008, Welsh National Opera, Cardiff
- 2007 Monte Carlo Opera, MC OPERA, MONACO, Monte Carlo
- 2007 Welsh National opera 2007, Welsh National Opera, Cardiff
- 2006 Welsh National Opera Drawing Studies Jan/Feb/March 2006, WNO, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
- 2005 Welsh National Opera Drawing Studies Sept/OCT 2005, WNO, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
Competitions, prizes and awards
- 2008 RE:drawing Oriel Davies Open 2008, Oriel Davies, Newtown
- 2008 Wales Portrait Award 2, Touring show, UK
- 2006 Welsh Artist of the Year Competition, Neuad Dewi Sant/ St David's Hall, Caerdydd/ Cardiff (more info)
- 2006 Oriel Davies Gallery Open, Oriel Davies Gallery, Powys, Cymru / Wales (more info)
- 2006 Young Wales VII, Academi Frenhinol Gymreig The Royal Cambrian Academy, Conwy (more info)
- 2006 Wales Portrait Award Exhibition, Touring exhibition, Wales and England
- 1998 RK Burt Painting Prize, WSA, Winchester
- 2007 Welsh Country Magazine, Ceredigion, National (more info)
Web links - gallery/work/projects
Web links - article/press