Armenian extraction

Born in Haifa (of Armenian extraction) Sophie Aghajanian  was educated in Cyprus until she  moved to London in 1962 to study painting at Ravensbourne College of Art & Design followed by a post graduate year in printmaking at Brighton College of Art from 1966 – 1967. She moved to Belfast in 1977 where she still lives and works.

View “Dark Projection” within the collection

Dark Projection by Sophie Aghajanian

Dark Projection by Sophie Aghajanian

Tension Between Light and Dark

As well as being a painter I am a  printmaker, and work mainly with intaglio, drawing directly with the acid onto the copper plate which gives me a more painterly result and allows me to work in a completely different way as the end result can never be predicted as in a painting. I like the fact that the accidents happen in the process that can sometimes contribute to the image in a way that I had not anticipated. It allows for tension as in the etching in this collection, “Dark Projection” – Sophie Aghajanian

Marie Heany in writing about Aghajanian’s work states: “This artist suggests rather than states, preferring lateral vision to the direct gaze….the tension between light and dark has been a constant in Sophie Aghajanian’s work from the beginning. She’s fascinated by light and its ramifying effects….she talks with equal enthusiasm about the importance of shadows and how she finds them almost more alive than the actual objects. In her work the relationship between light and dark is ambiguous, the balance between them delicately poised and dangerous.”

Selected one-person exhibitions include:

Mullan Gallery, Belfast 2005

Graphic Studio Gallery, Dublin, 2000

Wellspring Gallery, Tralee, Co. Kerry,1998

Ann Gallery, Dundalk, 1997

Arts Council Gallery, Belfast, 1994

IDB Gallery, London,1991

Kerlin Gallery, Dublin,1989

Kerlin Gallery, Belfast, 1986/87/90

Selected two-person exhibitions include:

Graphic Studio Gallery, Dublin, 2009

Guinness Gallery, Dublin, 1998

Gordon Gallery, L’Derry, 1985

Thumb Gallery, London, 1983

Other selected group exhibitions include:

Boyle Arts Festival, 2006 – 2011

RHA Exhibition, Gallagher Gallery, Dublin, ’97/ ’01/ ’02/ ’06/ 2011

Estampe 2011’ Ireland / France print Exchange, Galerie Michele Broutta, Paris, 2001

“Contemporary Art from Ireland”, John Martin Gallery, London, 1995

Fenderesky Gallery,Belfast, 1984 & 1997

Commissions include the National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland. Invited contributor to the “Great Book of Ireland”. Invited artist for the “Holy Show”  and “Garden of Earthly Delights” exhibitions, both curated jointly by the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin and the Graphic Studio Gallery, Dublin in 2002 and 2005.

Her work is included in many public collections in Ireland and abroad including:

Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Bank of Ireland, Dublin

AIB, Dublin

Bank Nationale de Paris

Wexford County Council

Ulster Museum, Belfast

Musée Les Abattoirs, Toulouse, France

MBNA Bank, Dublin

Merrill Lynch, Dublin, Office of Public Works, Dublin

DOE, Belfast

Dublin City University, as well as numerous private collections.