In our contemporary world where your attention is consistently under pressure, divided, fed back to you, Pauley asks, how possible is it to capture optimal experience or is its delicious elusive promise just enough to keep us going? Or, I wonder, what would it mean, with all its privileges, to stop, lie down and rest a while, feel the soft weave against your cheek, and let your mind wander?

Glasgow-based writer Caitlin Merrett King was commissioned by Wasps to write about Sophia Pauley’s solo exhibition FLOW MATTERS at The Briggait this month. The artist and the writer spoke online before meeting in person at the opening on a dark winter night. Caitlin’s writing moves between experimental reflections on images or sensations conjured by Sophia’s work for the show, and more descriptive prose that situates the reader inside the gallery space to talk about ‘flow’ – a headspace in which a person becomes completely immersed in an activity to the point that nothing else matters. Both Sophia’s sculptural installations (informed by her time spent as a competitive swimmer) and Caitlin’s writing appeal to this state of being.

Caitlin Merrett King is a writer and programmer based in Glasgow. She has published writing with Sticky Fingers, MAP Magazine and Pilot Press. Her debut novella Always Open, Always Closed will be published by JOAN in early 2023.

Sophia Pauley is a British artist, brought up in Cardiff and currently in her second year of her MA studying Painting at Royal College of Art in London. She graduated from Edinburgh University with a BA Hons in Painting in 2018 and was the recipient of the ACS Studio Award. Recent exhibitions include: 196th RSA Annual Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh (2022); Immersions, Robinson’s College Cambridge (2022); RAW, Soho Revue, London (2022); Re-Connect, SSA, Online (2021) and Artists In Transit Auction for Refuge (2021).

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