Sophie DeFrancesca has been exhibited widely across Canada and the United States and her artwork has been collected around the world. DeFrancesca was born in Toronto and graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) in 1990. In the early 2000’s, wire mesh emerged as an important material for her. Sheathes of galvanized steel mesh allowed the artist to shape ethereal human scale forms.
DeFrancesca’s figurative sculptures may spark memories for some or evoke strong emotions in others. While some may appreciate them for only their formal qualities, DeFrancesca says it is her hope that many will be drawn in deeper to read the more subtle messages within the work. As her work continues to evolve, so do DeFrancesca’s reflections upon it. By probing the conventional understandings of gender and sexuality, she explores the tension between women’s lived experience, the cultural meaning that informs this experience, and the human condition in general. Transforming sheaths of wire mesh into ethereal confections that transcend the hard, commonplace materials they are made from, this work reflects life’s adversities and transformations.
During the pandemic restrictions of the past two years, Sophie began to experiment with new technology that allowed her to custom design and laser cut both simple and intricate forms out of fluorescent acrylic (plexiglass). Each piece of acrylic within DeFrancesca’s artwork starts as a custom designed file, that is then individually laser cut by a machine. Hand-made wooden frames and metal loops are used to connect and carefully assemble the finished acrylic pieces. Her latest body of work was created through countless hours of research and development, as well as a keen respect and fascination with nature and the vast cosmos.
Of her work the artist states: “I’ve come to realize this is very much a spiritual pursuit for me. The work seems to come through me rather than from me, and although I am very much present and contributing throughout, there are no words to explain what can only be expressed by the end result of this seemingly transcendent process.”