Dennett’s work is direct and emotionally charged but without sentimentality. Personal experience and biography are interwoven. She says of her work: I usually have something
I want to say to the world. Something I’ve experienced or felt that I can’t say with words. Her paintings and prints recall that of fellow female artists Alice Neel, Paula Rego, Chantel Joffe and Ishbel Myerscough, all of who convey their experience of life, the beauty and fragility, through portraits of children.
Sophie Dennett lives and works in Cornwall, a picturesque county of England with a high level of deprivation. A large number of children live in poverty. The post-industrial
decline and high unemployment make it a harsh environment in which to live. Dennett’s portraits of her children and their friends’ pulse with an echo of the reality of everyday life she sees around her, portraying a raw beauty and a reflection on the brutality of the world. The image of a child, playing or resting, carries great weight. Dennett’s portraits are both sensitive, intimate and an honest depiction of children and place.
The collaboration between Sophie Dennett and Not Actual Size to raise funds for the international Children’s Charity Railway Children, is a fitting partnering. Alongside a collection of Dennett’s work, not previously seen in London, Not Actual Size will launch a specially commissioned edition of etchings, proofed and printed by Simon Marsh at Jollytown Editions in Cornwall. All funds raised from the sale of the edition, to be launched at the preview event on 26 March, will be donated to Railway Children.