Sofia Gallarate is currently studying a BA (Hons) in History of Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. In her free time she is an avid photographer, working across a broad range of subject matter. She is self-taught, and does not place a high importance on the value of formal artistic training. Rather, fundamental to her practise is a constant process of observing, reading and questioning her own work. Sofia does not consider herself an artist yet, but her eye for capturing the unique beauty in her source material speaks for itself.
Initially, Sofia began taking digital photographs, but something about the medium left her frustrated. This frustration led her to take a break from photography, until three years ago she discovered her mother’s old analogue Yashica, which reignited her creativity. Her photographs serve as an expansion of her diary, providing a visual tool through which to document her memories. Sofia considers the camera a powerful means of capturing the existing beauty of lights, shadows, forms and people. She says of her method: “With photography I don’t need to construct anything, I simply decide how to frame something I believe deserves a shot. I capture and shape what naturally fascinates me.”
Working with an analogue camera, in black and white, permits Sofia to satisfy her “melancholic eye”. Her photographs carry with them a sense of timelessness; she deliberately avoids signifiers of the present. As a consequence, she never takes photographs in London. She believes it is possible that the constant bombardment with art, photographs and creative projects can repress some natural instincts. While in London, however, Sofia has been drastically influenced and inspired by the unique approach to teaching at Goldsmiths. The History of Art course has shaped the way she critically analyses society, and has consequently directed her toward certain aesthetics and subjects.
Sofia’s work often celebrates architectural qualities, and she considers her biggest inspiration to be the “cold symmetry” of structures by architect Tadao Ando. The romanticism of the aesthetic of films by Federico Fellini has also been influential to her practise, as has the work of photographers such as Daido Moriyama and Juergen Teller.
Photography has been a natural medium for Sofia to explore, as an accompaniment to everyday life. To develop her skills further, she plans to explore a multimedia approach, which she feels will allow her to engage with more complex arguments. She is unsure whether she would like to pursue a career in the arts, but in the immediate future is hoping to travel to Columbia after finishing her degree. In the meantime, much of her energy will be focused on completing the last few months of her degree.
(All images featured in this article are the intellectual property of Sofia Gallarate)