Artist Zoe Grey brings a palette of rich colours and earthy forms to our latest capsule collection, Formation. Symbols and shapes painted from memories of home give an impression of the landscape.
Zoe Grey’s art practice explores the connection to place and the experience of landscape. Formation is inspired by the landscape of Zoe’s home, Marrawah, on the far Northwest coast of lutruwita/Tasmania.
“It’s a remote place with a rugged environment and wild weather. I live away from there now, and my painting practice is a way for me to nurture and unpack my evolving connection to that place.”
Read on and discover the unique work of Zoe Grey.
It was a pleasure to bring your work into wearable art to life! We love how your landscape forms resonate so beautifully with the feeling of the cooler change of seasons. Can you tell us more about the artwork we’ve selected for this collaboration?
It’s a pleasure to see it! The artwork in this collaboration is a painting inspired by the landscape of my home, Marrawah, where I grew up, on the far Northwest coast of lutruwita/Tasmania. It’s a remote place with a rugged environment and wild weather. I live away from there now, and my painting practice is a way for me to nurture and unpack my evolving connection to that place. This painting, in particular, is about a group of jagged rocks on the ocean shore in front of my family home. From a particular spot, you can see a gap in those rocks, and the sea shines through from the other side. It’s a special spot for me.
We’d love to hear about your art practice. How did you begin? Have you always had art in your life?
Making art has been in my life since my late teens. I became really interested in painting in years 11 and 12 and began pursuing it then. I had some great teachers who encouraged me to attend the art school, and I moved to nipaluna/Hobart to do that. Since graduating, I’ve been lucky enough to have several solo shows in Tasmania and interstate. I’m represented by Despard Gallery here in nipaluna/Hobart and James Making Gallery in Melbourne, so I work with them to put on exhibitions.
I work in a studio at the Artist Run Initiative Good Grief Studios, amongst some amazing artists. I come in and chip away every weekday and often on the weekends. In the summer, I return to my home on the west coast and work out of our family shack on the edge of the sea. I am very lucky to do what I do, making art is a privilege that I get to cherish every day.
What does collaboration mean to you, and how has it felt seeing your artwork come to life on these garments?
It’s been an interesting and surprising experience. I’m delighted to see the final product, and it’s a bit of a blowout seeing my work on the beautiful NancyBird garments! I value meaningful collaborations, and working with your team was a lovely opportunity to experiment with pushing my practice in different directions.
How does living in lutruwita/Tasmania influence your work?
Having grown up and lived my whole life on this special island of lutruwita/Tasmania has greatly influenced my work. I’m endlessly intrigued by the landscape and the deep connections I feel for this place. I have a very strong sense of home here, and I’m able to explore that in my painting.
What inspires you at the moment, and what are you most looking forward to?
At the moment, I’m working on a solo exhibition for James Makin Gallery that opens in September. My recent summer spent at home walking the coastline inspired the paintings I'm making. I’m working on a really large scale which I find super exciting, and I’m also in the beginning, which is a playful, loose, un-precious stage of the process that I adore.
I’m looking forward to an artist residency I have coming up in August on the island of Svalbard in the high arctic, following another in Lofoten, in the North of Norway. That will be a big adventure, and I can’t wait to see how that influences my work.
Follow Zoe Grey @zoe__makes