Microcosm: night sky trapped in a rock [painting]

Microcosm was not going to make the cut.

I found a river rock with a night sky trapped in it and, inspired by my recent readings about Chinese calligraphers, I wanted to show how a macroscopic element can represent something as vast as a night sky. That is how much I knew about the final 'look' of my painting before getting my brushes out.

I painted the mineral sky ... going back on it a few times, without success. It was there, floating in the white of the watercolour paper, with not much substance at all.

Looking at it made me feel as excited as looking at my empty fridge.

It lied sad on the floor of the studio for a few days before I picked it up again.

With no other intention than wanting to entirely cover the paper in black, I started playing with the ink. And suddenly, it materialised.

I could almost taste it. The more I painted the more depth appeared. It took time to complete it, though I didn't notice: I was navigating through the complexity of the white swirls and that's all that mattered at the time.

When I look at it today, I am taken by its powerful presence and I can still feel the strength I felt when painting it.

Microcosm is a very special painting as it combines all the great forces of nature together. It has a raw energy that takes its source in the water of the river, the history of the stars and the life trapped in the rocks.

Microcosm has received much interest and has now found a new owner! It has left only a couple of days ago to reach its new home in Mullumbimby. Who would have thought?

It makes me wonder why people are interested in art (and more specifically in what I do). Have you ever thought acquiring something unique like a painting? If so, what motivates you? Why is it important for you to own art?

Feel free to email me your story, I'd love to hear your thoughts!



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Born in France, Sofie Dieu’s first encounter with art was through church. With a penchant for ritual and spirituality, the artist is best known for her fragile, sombre, and sometimes violent ink paintings and textile works.


Poetic and humanist, her practice draws on her journeys to China and Australia. She explores how identity and memory fluctuate according to their immediate environment. Landscapes, people, secrecy, healing, and the dichotomy between light and darkness are some of her recurring themes.


Multi-art prizes and award finalist, her work was included in the Sydney North Art Prize, Waterhouse Natural Science prize and the Contemporary Art Award amongst others. In 2016, she worked on the Camperdown Cemetery installation for Sydney Biennale. In 2017, her work will be shown during Vivid and Mental Health Month in Sydney.