statement

At work

Werxzovart, the pseudonym for artist Sonje Hibbert,  was originally established in 1996 when living on the wild Atlantic cliffs of West Penwith, Cornwall. As a misfit of society here is an individual who takes solace from the increasingly unforgiving world, by frequent escape to bleak & barren moorlands and remote & faraway lands. Or at least tries to…

Born on the outskirts of Glasgow in 1964,  Sonje received a Masters Degree in Ceramics with Distinction in 2003 from UWIC, and has developed a substantial national following with her unique expressive work.

With an education in Malawi and Hong Kong, coupled with twenty years based around the South West of England prior to migrating northward to family roots in West Yorkshire in 2013, Sonje is known for being a nomadic individual, who frequently challenges the boundaries of her life, her oeuvre and the materials used within it!

With over a decade of walking her beloved hounds through rugged moorlands on Dartmoor, Devon and the wilds of Bronte Country West Yorkshire, an inspiration for desolate & bleak artistic works has evolved, alongside an unapologetic urge to escape humanity and an obsession of anything that vaguely resembles a rock. The creative expression is of her inner world, a narrative of her chaos within, allowing the viewer to feel her journey through her art. The work, both honest and raw can dominate a space. Combining steel & ceramic, often laced with copper & molten glass, sometimes resin & acrylics on canvas or on occasion old boards. And tastefully framed with a considered brace of recycled lead.

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 most of her work, the pull to be on land 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. The process may involve a deep existential experience, it also may not. The work offered is visceral, with personal & artistic boundaries being stretched: in both seemingly fearless, and at times reckless, risk taking modes.

Working as an artist for over thirty years, with a solo showcase since 2013 in the very successful Werxzovart Studio Gallery in Haworth, W. Yorkshire, recent works focus on large-scale ceramic vessels, primarily representations of The Jug, and large acrylic painted wall pieces that feature natural elements taken from the land that inspired them. These pieces are highly collectable and have been very successful in solely supporting her for over the last decade.

New premises in Haworth in early 2018 offered the opportunity for expansion of the gallery and pottery workshops studio, from two historically converted weavers cottages situated at the lower end of Main Street. The charm of this huge building c.1789 offers a wonderful ambient and characterful backdrop to showcase the work Sonje produces related to the barren moorlands behind the historic Bronte village. Whether you want to peruse the art, make a purchase, attend a pottery workshop or have a warm drink you are most welcome to drop by. There is even ensuite accommodation available if you simply cannot bear to leave!