Although she started her career as a photographer, Anke Schofield is now best known for paintings that convey things no one could ever capture in a picture. Filled with wonder and imagination, Schofield’s new work focuses on not what we can see, but what we could envision if we stopped limiting ourselves to that which already exists.
“The whole (idea) is based on living through a child’s eyes,” Schofield said. “If you were a child and had dreams, what would you want to see? What would you like life to look like?”
For a child, anything is possible. A young girl can run alongside horses or ride a zebra. A dog can perch atop a house, or a house can sit perfectly balanced atop a dog.
“A girl can’t actually ride a deer, but in a child’s mind she can,” explains Schofield when discussing one of her new pieces, “Deer Ride,” that depicts a child riding the hoofed animal while carrying a house on a string behind her.
Schofield’s work explores what we often deem impossible, but the young girl in many of her paintings is actually inspired by a real person. She is the daughter of an artist-friend. Schofield said that while the girl she knows is growing up, the painting version won’t be in age a day.
“I don’t want her to get old,” Schofield said. “I think it would just ruin it. It’s more about the innocence of a child at that age. I’m trying to capture that state.”
Along with not putting limitations on her images, Schofield thinks people should be free to react to her art however they wish.
“Make it up for yourself,” Schofield instructs. “I want the viewers to go into the painting with their own interpretation.”
Because she creates her canvases using multiple layers of paint, Schofield is always creating more than one piece at a time.
“If I just had one painting, I’d have to sit there and watch it dry,” Schofield said.
This way of thinking is exactly what Schofield is trying to get at with her art. No child would wait around watching paint dry. Instead they’d chose to start painting something else, take a nap on an antelope or put on a pair of wings because they felt like flying for a while.
Viewing Schofield’s work reminds us that just because we haven’t seen it for our own eyes, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.