statement

At work

Werxzovart, the pseudonym for artist Sonje Hibbert, was established in 1996, when living in a small hamlet located on the rugged cliffs of the wild Atlantic coast of West Penwith, Cornwall.

Born on the outskirts of Glasgow in 1964, with family roots extending from industrial townships & moorland valleys of the South Pennines, to the windswept archipelago of Shetland right up there in the North Atlantic Sea. A northern pedigree no doubt, however Sonje was brought up primarily in Malawi & Hong Kong with South East Asia and tropical climes being the familiar until the age of  twenty six. A much later twenty years based in the South West of England, then lead to the return to West Yorkshire in 2013.

Its safe to say a lot happened in between on this road well travelled: growing up as a Third Culture Kid, brought a childhood injected with extraordinary adventures to blow the mind! India to UK overland via Afganistan & Iraq in the family Peugeot Estate and a ten day sailing voyage over the Indian Ocean with said car in the hold from Mombasa, Kenya to Bombay on the passenger steamer SS Karanja. Circa 1973. To mention a few. All setting the scene for her life long sense of wonderlust, adventure and more.

Karanja

Sonje is a true misfit of society, who now takes solace from the increasingly unforgiving world, by frequent escape to bleak & barren moorlands and remote & faraway islands. Or at least tries to…

With over a decade of walking her beloved hounds through rugged moorlands on Dartmoor, the uncompromising wilds of Bronte Country West Yorkshire, and remote windswept islands of Shetland, the inspiration for dramatic & highly expressive art works evolved. It is safe to say Sonje is well known for being a heart led individual who frequently challenges the boundaries of her life, her oeuvre and the materials used within it!

With an unapologetic urgency to escape humanity and an obsession of anything that vaguely resembles a rock, the creative expression is a narrative of her inner world, an adventurous and continually evolving quest for self, thus allowing the viewer to feel her journey through the art.

By immersing herself in dramatic landscapes, either vast and barren, or geographically obscure, the relationship of place and emotion can only then be felt. Ironically having spent nearly twenty years in land trapped vistas, the theme of water is a reoccurring & echoing voice. An emotional and elemental subject that penetrates her work and dreams, the call to be on watery logged open moorland or islands surrounded by the sea, can at times be a pressurized need. If not a slightly fearful one!

In order to create, she has to feel, in order to feel, she has to experience. Sometimes an existential impression, sometimes not. The work offered is visceral, with personal & artistic boundaries being stretched: at times, in both, a seemingly fearless perhaps reckless, risk taking mode.

Working as an artist for over thirty years, with a solo showcase from 2013 -2021 in the very successful Werxzovart Studio Gallery in Haworth, W. Yorkshire, recent expressions focused on large-scale ceramic vessels, offering exaggerated  representations of The Jug, or wall mounted unique contemporary designs. Complimenting these very sought after ceramics, the large acrylic painted wall panels feature natural elements taken from the land that inspired them. The work, both honest and raw dominates a space. Combining steel & ceramic: the former laced with copper & molten glass, the latter often resin & acrylics on canvas or recycled old wooden boards, many are then framed with a considered brace of recycled lead.

All of the unique artworks are highly collectable and have been paramount in supporting her enigmatic nomadic way, and in October 2021 some very exciting much needed decisions came to fruition for the business and the artist. In true Werxzovart style, an emotional goodbye was made from 25-27 Main Street, Haworth for adventure seeking in not too distant land. Like all good things though, this will take time so be patient for news as the magic, (if any!) unfolds.