Sophie Ernst trained as a industrial mechanic before studying sculpture. She was a resident at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. In 2016 she completed her PhD from Leiden University. For several years Ernst lived and worked in Pakistan, where she taught as Assistant Professor at the Beaconhouse National University. Ernst has presented her work widely at exhibitions like: the 6th Moscow Biennale; 14th Asia Triennial, Manchester; 9th Sharjah Biennial; Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space at Johnson Museum, Cornell University and Nasher Museum, Duke University; Move on Asia, ZKM (Karlsruhe); and solo exhibitions such as: Memory is an Ideal Place, Kunstverein Heidelberg; Architecture of Belonging, Royal Academy of Art, The Hague; Presence of an Absence, Museum de Lakenhal, Leiden; HOME, Yorkshire Sculpture Park. 

In her artistic and theoretical work she asks questions about mediated perception in relation to architecture, memory, historical objects, and identity. Her works evolve from conversations and interviews. She sees making art as a response to these encounters. Her publication “The Magic of Projection; Augmentation and Immersion in Media Art” (2016) is an in-depth look at the uses of projection. The commission by Museum De Lakenhal „De Toverkamer“ (2019) is a further investigation into the history of projection.