Sonia Pacheco

Artist Statement

Clay is my saving grace. My sculptures are physical manifestations of strength, resilience and healing. 

With the guidance of a mentor, I learned to relish in clay’s forgiving nature, a material that asks little of me, except to be shaped. Channeling the turmoil and pain I faced — trapped in an abusive relationship, pregnant and alone in a country not my own — my signature figurative forms arise from rigid blocks of clay. The human bodies paired with animal skulls of my first collection, Animalistic, reflect the undeniable darkness in my life; they also recall a childhood of days spent out in nature surrounded by the elements and creatures of my hometown Pitt Meadows just outside of Vancouver.

My sculptures are a journey of progress toward freedom and powerful emotional reckoning. As I began turning these forms into new expressions, the central themes of my work are also expanding in pursuit. Darkness remained but new light and life emerged. Through trial and error, I learned how to cast in hydrostone and grow crystals on my forms, building on a technical foundation of my past while creating a present that I desire. This latest collection, Sacred Fool, is the culmination of a relentless nature and the product of 12 months of quarantine — dedicated to raising my daughter, Ava, and immersing myself in studio practice.

These sculptures confront the debilitating effects of verbal and emotional abuse. After years of suffering in silence, I hope to empower those who may be facing similar circumstances. Each piece captures a steadfast spirit within, the version of ourselves able to overcome any obstacle and to emerge stronger and wiser. As I continue developing techniques and applications, my work retains purposeful integrity and vibrancy, which portray a life I model for Ava.

© Sonia Pacheco, All Rights Reserved