Studio visit

Lise Sore: Tangible Traces of Emotion

Lise Sore’s drawings are a snapshot of an elongated emotional moment. Her self portraits expressively depict her own feelings. The transparency of the cheesecloth she draws on is an almost poetic nod to the transparency of herself in her work. By exposing her deepest emotions and opening herself up completely she creates a touching vulnerability. This vulnerability invites the viewer to tap into their own feelings as well.

Inner child

Lise Sore’s practice springs from her continuous search for her so-called inner child. The inner child is the part of your psyche that holds childlike innocence, wonder, enthusiasm and creativity. Your first years are crucial in your neurological, emotional and social development, because the experiences and conditions in those years plant basic needs and feelings in your psyche. You carry these needs and feelings with you as an adult, particularly whether or not they are developed and fulfilled as a child.

Curiosity and comprehension

What do these early experiences and conditions mean for your identity later in life? And for your growth and maturation? Where do certain emotions come from? These are questions Lise Sore deals with. She aspires to discover in what way her early childhood shaped her. She draws her most intense emotions, and yet she does not lose herself in them. Instead, she tries to consciously observe them. In experiencing certain emotions again and again she aims to comprehend them. And, in the end, process and enshrine them.

Physical feeling

Lise Sore shows the physicality of emotions. Not just in what she draws, but also in how she draws. She only works on a drawing when she is in the right emotional state of mind. ‘Right’ in the sense that the way she feels in the moment corresponds to the feeling she is portraying. Before she puts the pencil to the cloth she evokes the emotion she is working on, getting into a meditative mode. Because, as she explains, only in that specific state of being the emotion can be transferred to the textile: “Otherwise the entire drawing fails.”

A drawing in Lise Sore’s studio

Embodied emotional state

In doing so, she utilises the fact that your emotional state influences your movement and gestures – albeit unconscious and involuntary. Multiple complex physiological and neurological systems interact in order to process emotions in the body. Specifically the autonomic nervous system regulates physical responses to emotional circumstances, such as heart rate, blood pressure, tenseness or tears.

Physical movements

This clarifies why Lise Sore needs to actually feel the emotion in order to translate it to the fabric. That is, pencil strokes are physical movements, which unconsciously and involuntarily derive from her emotional being. For instance, one of her screaming, desperately angry portraits consists of deep and rough lines, whereas a more thoughtful and silent one is visibly drawn gently and softer. The technical gestures follow her embodied emotional state.

Pursuit of being

Lise Sore’s pursuit of discovering where she comes from – literally and metaphorically speaking – is intriguing. Her practice pushes ideas on how emotions, physicality and identity are connected. More specifically, how the inner child is connected to emotions, physicality and identity as an adult. The idea that mind and body are inseparable is not new, but Lise Sore’s drawings substantiate this idea. They show the tangible traces of emotion.

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