Sofya Mikhaylova

28th Feb 2019

1. Hi Sofya, we hope you’re enjoying the coffee! Can you give us an introduction to your practice, interests and experiences?

The practice is involved around gGenerosity of things, gGender and gGeneral Dwelling.

My interest is in art; not dependant on the form, which instantly gives you, as a viewer a feeling and sort of understanding which you may not be able to describe.

The experiences in my practice involve responding to ideas very intuitively. I tend not to spend too much time with one idea and move from one to the next one which aided me to build my visual language. I feel like I got to the confident new starting point.

2. Talk us through your working processes, what are you working on at the moment?

The research of composition, imagery, topics by other artists is an ongoing process. Usually I start off with writing or drawing different versions of an idea. This allows it to become more of a sphere; has a potential to become a ‘project’ and a point blurred by surrounding obstacles focused by a cross-eyed vision reflecting into a cross-eyed mind. The research or the ‘happening’ determines the materials of the final work.

At the moment I am beginning research on fertility and working on drawings and paintings responding to that theme.

3. You’ve just moved from Dublin to Glasgow. Can you tell us about your experience of Glasgow to date, and perhaps draw some comparisons between the two cities? As in light of the housing crisis in Dublin, it seems a lot of artists are making the move to Glasgow from Ireland.

Glasgow and Dublin has very friendly people. I am happy to move to Glasgow as there is more going on in the art scene. Also the houses are beautiful and have tall ceilings. I always wanted to live in a house like that.

4. You’re a member of GUM collective, can you tell us about the collective, how it originated and how you see it evolving? What role does collaboration play in informing your own practice?

GUM collective has started out in college and we have shared a studio after that since up until summer. It was everything I imagined my adulthood to be; i.e. going to part time job and doing it with eyes closed and going to the studio and really enjoying life. It was great to have a space to be able to do anything and working together led to interesting conversations and ability to share ideas. I see the collective evolving through new experiences the members collect with which the collective will adapt new ways of working with each other (as a unit).

6. Can you talk to us about GUM collectives residency at the National Gallery of Ireland and your sculptural work Easter Egg?

The residency at the National Gallery of Ireland completed as part of GUM was 3 months and we were invited to respond to an exhibition ‘Emil Nolde – Colour is Life’. We had a month’s time to research and a month working in a gallery towards our outcome/ display of the works. There were a lot of events engaging with the audience. This was something new to all of us and we all enjoyed taking inspiration from another artist specifically. I was interested by his paintings involving candles in context of religion and sexuality. This brought me to explore materials such as wax which is pleasure, pain, sexuality and religion and sin in that perspective.

8. Can you tell us more about Jezero, and your residency at Belgrade in Serbia?

The residency in Serbia began in a village away from Belgrade where I produced work for a month. I developed a project that people sometimes go to a forest and get lost, but they all haven’t found their way back and settled in a village. I went to this village to explore their life which had different rules and ways. The findings were crystals trapped on spiderwebs which was water drops, perhaps worn on mouths by those people and ‘imagery’; flat things were the only dead ones (hedgehogs, cats) in the 3D world there. This was a learning experience, coming from a city; a place of other ‘flat’ things and many of them. The outcome was an exhibition of work made brought to Belgrade where I also got the opportunity to network and see art.

Oh, I went on a bit of a rant here, running out of space! Hope this is all readable to you!


Sofya Mikhaylova is a visual artist based in Glasgow and a member of Gum Collective. You can find her work on the web at and contact her at