Zoë Paul is researching the character of domestic spaces, both in architectural and social terms, at the point where the threshold between the interior and the exterior seems to disappear. Her practice incorporates mixed media works, sculpture and prints that explore our perception of history, and the treatment and presentation of historical periods and objects, with a particular focus on classical Greek sculpture.
Her series of wool weavings on vintage fridge grills have strong painterly qualities and combine the remains of a disposed domestic appliance with the production of textiles for the household. The artist defines this practice as sculpture, since it is the object that she is interested in, along with its relation with the body. Choosing the fridge grill as a base for her weavings, she talks about how the invention of the fridge, as an appliance changed society and culture, especially in the Mediterranean where the warm climate made the preservation of food difficult. Zoë Paul sees these objects like representations of society where each line in the weaving can’t exist without the next. The handicraft of weaving relates thus to society. The artist discusses her works in the sculptural context of gesture and form: instead of being part of a genealogy of painting, the works can be seen as marks and touch of the body upon the object.
Zoë Paul’s bead works are made of clay and hang on the wall as a portable threshold, simulating a door that is neither closed nor open, which allows free access in and out while breaking the line of sight. The artist gathers the clay from a remote beach on the Mediterrean island of Kithira and she fires each bead, in a time consuming process that is almost meditative. The imagery for Juliette and The Lotus Eater is an African mask, while for The taste of a cosmopolitan shepherd with an excellent long term memory she is inspired from an image from the Minoan civilization.
Zoë Paul (b.1987, London) grew up between the Greek island of Kithira and Oxford, having South African origins. She now lives and works in Athens. After finishing her undergraduate at Camberwell College of art, she completed her MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London. Recent group shows include Unorthodox at the Jewish Museum, New York, curated by Jens Hoffman and Kelly Taxter; Equilibrists organized by the New Museum, New York and the DESTE Foundation, Athens in collaboration at the Benaki Museum, Athens, curated by Gary Carrion-Murayari and Helga Christoffersen with Massimiliano Gioni.