Sophie Walbeoffe (born 1961) studied Fine Art at Wimbledon School of Art, later with Cecil Collins at the Central School of Art , a teacher inspired by Eastern spirituality, who encouraged his students to use their hands, and more eccentrically, their mouths and feet. From this moment Sophie adopted an impulsive way of working, using both hands, which she says ‘creates magic straight away’.
Sophie, whose great uncle established the Courtauld Institute of Art, has been travelling extensively since the 1980s. She met her husband Piers Simpkin in Kenya,a scientist specialising in the study of camels and arid lands, They live in Nairobi, but were lucky enough to bring up their two children Jasper and Lara in the bush, accompanied by a herd of their own fifty camels.
After a period of two and half years painting in Isreal sophie found many new influences for her painting. The trials of living in such a divided world have had an impact on her work.