Sophie Mackfall 2024 Laura Gale

Personal profile

Research and Innovation interests


In am an artist and practice-based researcher with a focus on painting and painting in the expanded field. I have a background in arts organising, working as a committee member for Transmission Gallery Glasgow and as a Director at One Thoresby Street Nottingham, I currently co-lead Free House, an artist led studios in Birmingham.

Research Interests

My research explores surfaces and edges, both material and immaterial, with strands of focus that situate painting both in display and practice within natural and urban landscapes. Starting with the idea of horizon as a spatial constant and the body as a physical constant to work with and against, I use economical devices such as a clothesline or the fold of an envelope to create paintings that often suggest that they are unfixed; that they might be folded or unfolded, cut up or remade. In this way, one painting may enclose another and can at the same time be several different compositions and sets of relations as it unfolds.

Current projects

The Poetics of the Fold

I am working on a research exposition that investigates the poetics of the fold within a language of expanded painting. These works emerged on residency at PADA, Barreiro, Portugal in 2021, in relation to the ‘envelope poems’ Emily Dickinson made largely between 1870 and 1885, which test the relationship between message and medium. The format of the envelop scrap contain Dickinson’s words within their overlapping planes. The fold and the layer in my paintings are a tool for inadvertent compositions and connections to emerge. Edges are malleable, the form and message becoming entangled.


I am currently developing a research project that explores hoardings and the process of 'painting over' by city council workers. My interest lies in this as in-advertant process painting and a space to ask questions about aesthetic hierarchies, the ideas of 'neutrality', when the process of erasure never fully erases. This research aims to subvert or play with this game of urban mark making and erasure. 


  • Expanded painting
  • Incidental painting and urban space 
  • 'en plein air' painting 
  • The fold as a device to generate relationships and spaces of potential
  • Creativity and alternative education movements (specific interests in Rudolf Steiner and the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift / Woodcraft Folk)

Education/Academic qualification

Fine Art Painting, MA, Royal College of Art

28 Sept 20131 Jun 2015

Award Date: 1 Jun 2015

Fine Art Painting and Printmaking, BA , Glasgow School of Art

28 Sept 20041 Jun 2008

Award Date: 1 Jun 2008


  • ND Painting
  • NB Sculpture
  • N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
  • LB2300 Higher Education
  • L Education (General)


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