The Art of Cricket: Day puts creative spin on sport

Victoria and Stars spinner Sophie Day's first art show, inspired by her cricket, is currently on display at the CitiPower Centre

Sophie Day is happy to admit that she is not always paying full attention in team meetings.

It is not that she means to be distracted, rather, Day finds staring at graphs, wagon wheels and plans on a whiteboard sparks artistic inspiration.

The Victoria and Melbourne Stars left-arm spinner's creative talents are currently on display in the foyer of the CitiPower Centre, where her show 'The Art of Cricket' is being held until January 5.

From scorecards and training drills to running in lockdown with captain Meg Lanning, Day's paintings encompass every part of her cricketing life.

"A lot of it comes from the environment I place myself, in the shapes, the patterns that you see in the cricket field, through the nets, even the patterns that the coach lays out with cones," Day told cricket.com.au.

"I get a lot of inspiration from team meetings, I zone out sometimes, I see different shapes and patterns on the whiteboards and the data from games."

Art and cricket do not have a great deal in common, but for Day, who grew up with dyslexia, they were two outlets where words did not matter.

These days, art helps balance the pressures of life as a professional athlete.

"I think it's nice to try find a balance so I'm not too consumed in cricket, which I can very much get into," Day said.

"I love them both, and you can't get much better of a lifestyle than playing cricket and painting.

"(My art) very much like kind of how I approach cricket, I repeat things over and over and over until I get it and I don't always get things first go.

"I don't think I'm overly naturally gifted at anything ... but I love to work at things and try to keep up with everyone.

"I think how I approach my cricket and training is very similar to how I paint. for example, if I'm doing a painting I'll sit down for hours and hours until I perfect it and it's very similar to cricket, I won't leave (training) until I feel like I've ticked too few boxes."

The 30 works she has on display have been the product of several years of work while studying a degree in Fine Arts at the Victoria College of Arts.

Much of it was created over the past two years, with Melbourne in and out of lockdown.

"We were only allowed to train and then go back home," Day explained.

"We were very lucky to be able to train (through lockdown), but that's why the majority of the work is about cricket, because that's all I was doing, just coming in to train and then heading back home to paint." 

Day's work is winning plenty of fans, with almost all her pieces finding buyers since the exhibition was launched.

Australia captain Lanning fittingly purchased the piece inspired by her team's famous T20 World Cup triumph in front of 86,174 fans at the MCG, while Victoria coach Jarrad 'Joffa' Loughman claimed 'Joffa's drills'.

Despite Melbourne's second winter in lockdown, Day enjoyed the chance to commit herself to cricket on a more full-time since graduating from university at the end of last year.

"It was really great to have a look at what worked well last season and what didn't, and I had a big preseason here with Victoria and was able to train in a high-performance set-up which was a bit different for me," she said.

"I really enjoyed that. Then going into Big Bash ... it was a great learning experience again, and I'll take away a lot from the season.

"It's amazing for me, being a second-year player and to have (fellow left-arm spinners) Sam Bates and Soph Molineux here as well, the amount that I can learn off them, I really look up to them both.

"It's pretty cool to work alongside them and see how they go about it."

The Art of Cricket is on display at CitiPower Centre at Junction Oval until January 5. Click here for more details.