Sophia Gawan-Taylor shares some of her most interesting childhood memories and tells of her love of science, art and houseplants.
I was born in a very small rural rubber-tapping kamping (village) in Pagoh, Johor, Malaysia. After a few years there and after learning my first language Bahasa Melayu, I moved every few years to a new city.
From Pagoh I moved to Kuala Lumpur; then to Adelaide, Australia; then to Singapore, then shortly to France, back to Singapore, then Batam, Indonesia. After that it was Perth, Australia; then Cebu, Philippines and now finally Melbourne! I am ethnically half South-East Asian and half Australian.
I love art and making art – oil, watercolour, acrylic, marker, pencil, sometimes sculpture. I loveeeeeeeee tropical houseplants. I love reproductive health. And I love my friends.
Making people happy. Caring for my plants and helping other people care for theirs. Making art that people enjoy and connect with.
There’s definitely a connection between the two! For me, my overarching concept for my art practice surrounds the experiences of Gen Z, which involves postmodernism and contemporary issues. But I also enjoy drawing silly things like frogs and listening to a jukebox. Most of my subjects involve anatomical aspects to a degree – like my recent biomechanical heart painting, or human subjects with their skeletons exposed. So it’s handy and interesting to learn about anatomy and physiology in my uni subjects.
Also, learning about human science and the frontiers of science helps on the conceptual side. That being said, I try not to take myself too seriously in art as it’s more fun that way. But art and science are more interconnected than a lot of people think.
My experiences and weird vivid dreams inspire me to create art. I would say my creative process is pretty simple. I just think of an idea and composition in my head and then sketch it out. If I’m doing a painting I usually sketch a basic design, and design it in Photoshop to use as reference and to get correct composition for the canvas size and shape. Nothing exciting or fancy hee hee.
I think I always knew that I would study human science at a tertiary level, but I will always continue to practice art, and hopefully I can find a career that will allow me to do both. I want to carve out my life in such a way that I won’t have to choose.
Trinity allows for people to exist outside of common tropes and to explore a wide range of hobbies, as well as to perform, showcase, and share our talents and ideas. I really treasure that. I think that’s why I will always treasure my time at Trinity.