Sofia Escobar's Textile Installation at Drake One Fifty

Posted by Maggie Lever, July 13, 2016
Drake One Fifty Art Sofia Escobar

Earlier this month, Sofia Escobar, a Toronto-based Peruvian textile and illustration artist, installed a site-specific work at our downtown location, Drake One Fifty. We sat down with her to talk about her practice + get to know the emerging artist a little better (read: ask her random questions).

Escobar completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Material Art and Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto. This program allowed her to work in a variety of mediums, ranging from film to illustration. These diverse forms of art-making influenced Escobar’s main practice: working with thread to create intricate 3D drawings

Drake One Fifty Art Sofia Escobar

By using the linear nature of illustration in combination with the experiential qualities of film, Escobar constructs line-based material objects that engage the audience on different sensory levels. Walking around these pieces allows you to appreciate the tangible nature of the materials used – an element that would not be present in 2D works. Sofia explained how the audience can relate differently to textile works because it enhances more than one sense, both the visual and the tactile.

Drake One Fifty Art Sofia Escobar

Drawing inspiration from the design of Drake One Fifty itself, Escobar referenced the surrounding environment to select colours for her installation. This piece, titled Macro Weave II, uses four hues of parachute cord to create intricately layered patterns of rope along the top shelf of the gantry, weaving and fanning them to create a labyrinth of colour. This work uses the different colours of rope and the depth of the gantry to create an interesting sense of space and perspective.

Drake One Fifty Art Sofia Escobar

Escobar was excited to find new ways to play with this medium. She felt that working in this space at Drake One Fifty was an opportunity to experiment with the limitations and opportunities that site-specific works present. Escobar shared: “Every material has its own language and wants to be treated in a certain way,” – a challenge she has clearly conquered with this piece.

Drake One Fifty Art Sofia Escobar

We asked Sofia 5 questions, art related and very non-art related. Here are her answers:

How does being from Peru influence your art practice?

It's been a large influence because Peru has a really rich culture in textile, pattern design and colour. So right off the bat that is one of the things that inspires me the most. And travelling in general - I’ve lived in 4 countries (Ecuador, Peru, Canada and Germany) in my short life, so I think that being from different cultures and experiencing all of them differently has made my work what it is now. I also like how vibrant and crazy the colors and patterns are in Peruvian culture, but I also like how, for example, Canadian culture can be very balanced with the colors - patterns are more objective or tamed so it’s a good balance.

If you could be any animal what would it be and why?

I guess a dolphin. I love being in water and I think they’re fun animals. I feel like they’re always enjoying their time under and over the sea, so I think dolphins would be a good choice… and they are supposed to be the smartest animals in the animal kingdom.

Hot dog or hamburger?

Oh hamburger all the way! That’s easy!

How do you pick the materials that you use?

I always go for thread, that would be my specific material that I know how to work with. But there are many different kinds of thread and rope. This is the first time working with this Paracord rope (parachute cord), which is my best find so far. I just found it on the Internet. I was trying to find Nylon rope (like the kind you find at hardware stores) but it was too thick and it only came in 3 colours. After hours of research I finally found it on an image and was like, “Wow this is amazing!” and had to get it from the States. But I have also used cotton yarn a lot, or the acrylic objects on my website (that is also part of influence from Peruvian culture).

If you were in a horror movie what kind of character would you be?

From the top of my head, maybe a zombie? I have never really understood the concept of zombies, so it would be nice to experience that for the sake of it.

Drake One Fifty Art Sofia Escobar

Come to Drake One Fifty to see Sofia Escobar’s new piece in person!

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Tags: Maggie