My practice spans across sculpture, printmaking, moving image and events based work and is primarily concerned with the creation of immersive objects and environments, which hold a veneer of seduction. Through the use of isolated motifs and signifiers, these elements are branded with a recurrent visual language through which I wish to mobilise a subtly transgressive dialogue. Thus confusing the erotic and the abject, the sacred and the profane. These transmutable signifiers have their origins in myth, folklore and ancient forms of image making. However, I am interested in diffusing their learnt or contemporary modes of understanding through their repetition and re-interpretation in the guise of fetishized commodities. Therefore, creating an uncertain temporal fusion between the ancient and the modern.
Craft and the use of materials and techniques traditionally associated with luxury and the precious have become an integral part of my practice. The fetishistic qualities of materials such as ebony, mother of pearl, ceramic and gold are both heightened and abstracted through the use of moving image. This way of working is employed as a tool to further explore the creation of seductive and illusory surfaces. The use of High Definition video acts as a cold, modern counterpart to the natural richness and exclusivity of my crafted objects, reinforcing the sense of an uneasy temporal fusion of time periods and materialities. My most recent video Drench depicts a series of advert like vignettes, juxtaposing fragmented shots of undulating bodies with those of my own crafted objects all housed within a manipulated environment. The objects viewed through the lens exist in a strange hinterland, where they are removed from their immediate physicality. This removal allows them to be situated somewhere between artifact, luxury commodity and prop. Through this cross contamination of their functions, I wish the objects to be seen, not as static end points but as tools or props for activation.
— Zoe Williams
Zoe Williams is an artist based in Glasgow, where she has just completed her MFA at the Glasgow School of Art. She completed her BA in Art and Visual Culture at UWE, Bristol in 2006 and has since exhibited her work in Bristol, London, Berlin, Birmingham, Glasgow and Norwich. In 2009 she was awarded The Rootstein Hopkins Artist’s Award, a major solo exhibition and publication, awarded by Spike Island where her exhibition and limited edition monograph The Flight of O, where shown in 2010.
She was commissioned in 2010 by OUTPOST Gallery to make new work for A Skvader, an exhibition celebrating the Centenary of The Contemporary Art Society at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery. More recently she has shown at Intermedia Gallery, Glasgow in 2011 with artists Laurence Figgis and Brin Frost and will showing at The Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, for her MFA International show in September 2012.