Sonya Bleiph’s work has an enchanting and eclectic lore. Drawing from an array of styles and genres, such as fantasy, body horror, surrealism, CGI realism and ‘80s graffiti culture for inspiration, she has created a universe reminiscent of the supernatural.
Born and raised in Moscow, the creative director, set designer and filmmaker moved to the UK almost a decade ago. Prior to her creative practice, Sonya has a background is in human biosciences which can be seen creeping into her practice; nature and the body interact whimsically and humans contort into creatures seamlessly. This otherworldly effect is achieved through her inventive use of materials, working with abandoned structures and dusty machinery. “Some of my favourite materials to use and observe are glass, latex, concrete and decomposed plastic,” she lists.
Her fusing of multiple materials is often presented in a classic and cinematic way, with compositions and action akin to renaissance paintings. Inspired by the likes of masters of their craft, such as Futura 2000, Jamie Hewlett and romantic painter Francis Goya, and filmmakers Aleksei German, Edgar Wright, Charlie Kaufman and Harmony Korine. The range of influences in her work create an abiding motif of the awkward, the supernatural and ironic.
Sonya Bleiph: Tooth and Ankle (Copyright © Sonya Bleiph & Adam Pietraszewski 2023)
About the Author
Yaya (they/them) joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in June 2023 and became a staff writer in November of the same year. With a particular interest in Black visual culture, they have previously written for publications such as WePresent, alongside work as a researcher and facilitator for Barbican and Dulwich Picture Gallery.