Open to the public Nov 18th Private View, 19th-20th 2022 Open to the Public at Stratford-upon-Avon Town Hall CV37 6EF

Sonya Vengrova



I make creatures to preserve, express memories and impressions from life's dilemmas we face


I am originally Russian, living in the UK now for almost half of my life, based in the beautiful Warwickshire.

My path to art has not been straightforward: in different periods of my life, I dedicated myself to different things. Coming from a family of biomedical scientists, this is where I applied myself first. I spent over a decade in academic research, in the field of molecular biology.

I am forever fascinated with biology and with the natural world. The intricacy of how the living organisms are built and the beauty of the natural forms are a constant source of interest and inspiration.

The life cycles and the food chains are the prototypes of the dilemmas that we, humans, face in life, and it’s something that I think about a lot.

After biomedical research, I had a period of working in an entirely human world, as a manager in a software engineering company. That lead me to study business and management, and then lured back into research, this time in social sciences.

It has opened my eyes to the incredible knowledge that cannot be studied by using the scientific method – the subjective and fickle world of perception, thoughts and emotions and the resulting human behaviour. And after six years on that path the time was right to dedicate myself fully to art.

In addition to observing nature and people, a lot of my inspiration comes from the magical stories, animated films, and also from my grandmother’s stash of women’s craft magazines, dating to before communist revolution in Russia. There is something in the images from that era that appeals to me: the calm, the thoughtfulness…

Making creatures allows me to preserve and express memories and impressions from reading, watching, visiting and seeing, and the dilemmas that we face. Sometimes a vision buzzes around in my head for weeks, months, or even years.

It’s very satisfying for me to create something which becomes an embodiment of that vision. On the other hand, sometimes I start with a vision, but the process of making a creature takes an unexpected direction, and something totally different from the original idea ends up being made.