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Tutor Focus: Sophie Artemis - Arts and Crafts Assistant Curriculum Manager

Sophie Artemis is one of the Assistant Curriculum Managers in the Surrey Adult Learning (SAL) Arts and Craft team. The wealth of knowledge and expertise that she brings to Surrey Adult Learning has contributed to the wonderful range of courses available to our learners. Sophie is dynamic, with a real sense of energy, and the ability to engage with all people, sharing her love of art in an infectious way.

Sophie comes from a creative family background: her mother is a successful published illustrator and her father is an architect. She learnt from a young age to be curious, look at buildings from a more critical viewpoint, and explore all sorts of art forms.

Sophie studied a Fine Arts degree at Chelsea College of Art and Design. Chelsea encourages experimentation, and the conceptualisation of new techniques and ideas is welcome. Sophie thrives on the ethos of self-expression and living in the moment.

Sophie mastered the beautiful and dying art of bookbinding, and completed a PGCE at London University. Sophie has a lot of classroom experience, working as an art teacher in a secondary school, supporting pupils to achieve GCSEs and A-Levels in art. As a successful artist in her own right, Sophie is proud to have exhibited nationally and internationally. Her book art has been collected by the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Tate Library, and can be found in other public and private collections around the world – particularly in the USA – and considers commissions upon request. Sophie's work is also stocked by the Bookart Bookshop in Shoreditch.

After a career break to raise her family, Sophie moved from London to Surrey, where she is now SAL Assistant Curriculum Manager for Arts and Crafts as well as being an artist in residence at a women's prison, a freelance artist at the Watts gallery, and – of course – a Surrey Adult Learning Tutor of Drawing and Illustration in Guildford. Sophie is a book artist and painter and enjoys working in watercolour, pen and ink, and oil paint.

Sophie truly believes in the benefits of lifelong learning. She says: "I think it is important for adults who have never had the chance to explore art to discover this in a mutually supportive environment. The experience is really good for your health: it is calming and encourages sustained concentration, taking you away from your everyday worries. Learners support and sustain each other in the group and discover their voice as artists."

This personal ethos has led Sophie to teach in a range of venues, including teaching painting in a prison, where she shares her skills and develops the group's resilience. She helps to organise the annual exhibition 'Our Time' where visitors have the opportunity to see the group's work in the prison setting and get to meet the artists. This project is funded by the Michael Varah Memorial Fund and supported by Watts Gallery.

Examples of work can be seen on Sophie's website and Sophie's Instagram profile.

  • Updated: 17 Jun 2019

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