The artist capturing water with code
January 14, 2015

Sophia Collier carves liquid moments in time, making incredible shimmering sculptures that capture fluid waves with computer code

Natural and man-made worlds merge in the undulating surfaces of Sophia Collier’s acrylic water blocks. Capturing the light that catches and defines a rippling lake or river, her striking sculptures draw on the simplest and most immediate of inspirations.

Her craft is based both in computer coding and in business, hardly the first tools that spring to mind for an artist’s inventory. “I consider industry to be my artistic tool box. I like to use tools from high technology, whether hardware or software,” explains Collier, who draws upon her varied background as both an entrepreneur and investment strategist. “When I create computer code for a water surface, I am reaching into my imagination and looking to express an emotional feeling with a particular surface of water,” she explains. These codes are applied to the acrylic using her specially designed machinery, which imitate the movement of waves blown across water, before being hand finished by Collier.

Her initial attraction to water came from walking over a bridge and wishing that she could seize a piece of the rippled surface to preserve and keep. “I imagined my hands reaching into the water and selecting the moment to pull the plank of water away.” Collier extends this moment in her work. “I am using new technologies to create structures to focus light into a permanent embodiment,” she says. “I see water surfaces as both instant and ancient.” Her work suggests this timelessness while retaining a finely tuned modernity in its form.

Collier’s clarity of vision and its stripped back realisation continue a minimalist tradition. She acknowledges this, explaining, “Certain minimalists have found their materials or subjects in the desert or in the built world, and my subject is water and the light that comes from it.” Her man-made materials and process create an intriguing contrast with this most natural of references, creating strikingly contemporary pieces that are both fluid and precise.

Art and technology sit side by side in her working process, using a large CNC router with a 5' by 10' worktable as a creative tool. Unlike many prominent artists who choose to assign assistants or external manufacturers to build up their prototype, Collier’s technique and working practice is solely her own. ‘”I have no problem with those who use fabricators, but I feel that using outside manufacturing takes away from my process,” she says.


Certain minimalists have found their materials or subjects in the desert or in the built world, and my subject is water and the light that comes from it.


These techniques are set to come closer still to personal experience, with Collier planning to extend her recent exploration of sound waves in shaping some of the turbulence areas of the river form. “I want to continue making work where an aspect of human experience is part of the water and light,” she says. It is a balance that runs through her process, a slice of the natural world channelled through the creative technology of today.

For more information on Sophia Collier's work, click here

We will meet in the place where there is no darkness
'We will meet in the place where there is no darkness' is a site-specific installation exploring the relationship between space, light and sound by artist-architect Sebastian Kite. A weekly dance performance enables a different reading of the installation.
The Waves
Delving into the unsettled and flowing nature of identity in the digital age, Marta Di Francesco presents a new video inspired by Virginia Woolf’s 1931 experimental novel The Waves
Materials Unbound: Future Identities
Our third presentation at the London College of Fashion brings together four diverse panellists to explore the future of virtual identities
The digital bodies of CGI models disrupt advertising culture and the concept of the 'lookbook' in Kate Cooper's new series of works, drawn from her 2014 exhibition Rigged at the KW Institute in Berlin.
Where do you worship?
Bill Viola's new commission in St Paul's Cathedral and Ruper Newman's light show within a chapel revive the age-old link between the church and the gallery for the digital ag
Maintenant Festival
Set in Rennes, France, Maintenant festival is organized by Electroni[k] association and presents from 7th to 16th October a snapshot of artistic contemporary creativity in visual arts, music and new technologies. Line-up includes Masayoshi Fujita, Aurora Halal, Jackson, Pearson Sound, Ben UFO, Lena Willikens as well as installations by Joris Strijbos & Daan Johan or Studio PSK among others. Maintenant is part of SHAPE (
This new show disrupts tech and fashion
Curator Leanne Wierzba talks chaos, communication and creativity as her exciting exhibition ‘Digital Disturbances’ opens at the Fashion Space Gallery
Remain Calm
A dream pairing between cellist Oliver Coates and electronic musician Mica Levi, this impressive album was spawned from an impromptu NTS radio session in 2014, where they decided to hear what happens when they fused Mica’s electronics with fragments of Coates’ classical compositions.
Skanu Mezs Festival 2016
Featuring King Midas Sound + Fennesz, Michael Finnissy, Vatican Shadow, Zebra Katz, Tropic of Cancer, Roger Turner and many others, including artists of the Skaņu Mežs co-founded SHAPE platform for innovative music and audiovisual art.
Cevdet Erek - Davul
Representing Turkey at the Venice Biennale, Cevdet Erek latest delivery for Subtext Recordings acts both as the recording of a musician and a documentation of his practice as a conceptual artist. Hypnotic and fiercely raw improvisation on different types of drums draw equally from the aesthetics of electronic music and total freedom from traditional musicianship. Downtuning the drums and involving objects are bringing Erek's exploration of flow and dynamics in textural territories.