Sonia Farley

Explore Sonia Farley's organic shapes and modern sculptural forms blending abstraction with functionality

Guinea Fowl Bowl Salt Shaker Guinea Fowl Bowl Salt Shaker by Sonia FarleyPenrith Regional Gallery, Home of The Lewers Bequest

Sonia Farley was born in Sydney in 1927 and died in 1997. Farley was raised with an appreciation for environmental issues and developed a keen interest in nature. An inherent respect of nature and the qualities of natural materials became a foundation principle of her work.

Carved tree rootPenrith Regional Gallery, Home of The Lewers Bequest

Farley began her career as a carver during the 1950s at a time when woodworking, as an art-form, attracted little interest. Wood workers were traditionally male and orientated towards the business of trade, which relied on working with a lathe.

CapricornPenrith Regional Gallery, Home of The Lewers Bequest

For carving, it was difficult to attain good quality tools, supplies and information and was, therefore, particularly unusual for a woman to take up creative woodwork.

Carved Knot (with lid)Penrith Regional Gallery, Home of The Lewers Bequest

Farley, however, had developed a deep appreciation for the Australian bush and had developed a sound understanding of the different wood types, their properties and, subsequently, their aesthetic potential.

Hollow Log Bowl Container Hollow Log Bowl Container (1993) by Sonia FarleyPenrith Regional Gallery, Home of The Lewers Bequest

Working extensively as a sculptor, Farley was also attracted by the modernist pursuit of remaining honest to both material and form. Her commitment to nature, organic shapes and modern sculptural form morphed abstraction with functionality.

The array of beautifully crafted wood works in the collection showcases her sensitivity to the inherent textures and colours of native timbers, the desire to carve natural forms.

Credits: Story

All artwork copyright courtesy the Artist's Estate

Credits: All media
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