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'Magic in Moments of Domesticity' ~ Q&A with Zoe Gibson

We were delighted to recently launch a new wallpaper and fabric collection, Solstice, by the brilliant Zoe Gibson.

Zoe is a multidisciplinary artist whose works combine sculpture, filmmaking, installation, mural painting and drawing. She is interested in exploring storytelling using a visual language of colour and pattern to create a vivid alternative world. Her practice encompasses folk art and myth, and the idea that not only should art be accessible for everyone, but it should be a deeply enmeshed part of everyday life and surroundings.

In celebration of Solstice, we sat down with Zoe to chat all things creativity and contemporary art...

What was the inspiration and process behind Solstice?

The creation of the print came when I was making my show 'Daily Dance' at Generator Projects in Dundee, in November 2021. I had made a short film following the sun and moon and their quiet repetitive daily rituals. I wanted the wallpaper to compliment the feeling of the film, and to try and distill the ideas down to their simplest forms. I have always been interested in colour, shape and pattern, and this informed the print as well as the repetitive, hands-on way in which it is printed.

'Daily Dance' by Zoe Gibson, Generator Projects, Dundee, 2021.
A still from Zoe's short film, 'Daily Dance'.

Could you tell us a bit about your work as an artist in general? How would you describe your process, and what are you hoping to achieve with it? 

The way I make art encompasses several different mediums, but the inspiration behind it and what I am trying to achieve usually stays pretty consistent. I'm interested in storytelling, myths, grief and magic in moments of domesticity.

Stills from Zoe's short film, 'Daily Dance'.

Could you tell us about your journey to becoming an artist?

I have grown up in a family where a lot of value is placed on art, hands-on making, and decorating your surroundings. This has definitely had an impact on me and the way I like to approach my practice. I think going to art school and being surrounded by friends all with their own approaches to creating work has been really inspiring to me as well. 

Is there one room or space you always return to, or wish you could return to?

I love going to see my grandparents in Shetland, their house is massively inspiring with paintings everywhere - little murals, bits of mosaic and interesting objects. One place I wish I could visit from the past is the house my great-granny used to live in. She died before I was born, but from pictures I have seen it looked like a riot of colour and decoration.

Zoe's great-granny, the painter, teacher and inventive designer of flat pattern, Peggy Angus (1904-1993).

What’s the first work of art you remember encountering? What impact did it have on you?

I have been really lucky to grow up around art so I don't have a specific first artwork I remember encountering - it's always been there, infused with daily life and surroundings.

Do you have a source of inspiration you always come back to?

I am endlessly inspired by folk art and decorative art. I like things which are functional items but also very beautiful.

Any tips for getting out of a creative rut?

A horrible looming deadline usually does the trick but I can't say I recommend it!

'Daily Dance' by Zoe Gibson, Generator Projects, Dundee, 2021.

Further reading...

Follow Zoe on Instagram.

Shop the Solstice collection.

Check out Generator Projects, Dundee.


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