Chelsea College of Arts Award 2019
Cumbrian Artist Zoe Forster’s work is a celebration of people and places – predominantly those of which she has grown up around. The starting point of most of her research is through conversations, her work is her research, a growing archive of the everyday, a physical database of her community and their histories. As well as sourcing her photographs, films and stories from her home town and surrounding areas, she is keen in the exploration of raw materials from said areas and the utilization of these. Clay has been an important element within her work, it’s unprocessed nature paying homage to the nature of those people she has grown up around. Her work also expands to the breadth of photography, more recently using the calcite of a stalagmite found in an aqueduct running under Manchester gifted to her dad from a mate – exploring one of the earliest historical photographic processes by coating paper with said calcite and eventually arriving at photographs embedded deep within the paper. This use of the land being used in the creation of ‘Earth objects’ that are rich in history as well as materiality is inconsistent with art in the contemporary, the use of outdated image processing techniques and the actual cultivating of your own raw materials is an art that she wishes to keep alive as well as the stories of people, because of this her work holds weight within contemporary art.
UPDATE: I'm currently living at home, living rent free whilst I've been deciding what it is exactly that I want to do (I didn't want to rush into anything and make a grave mistake). I've turned the family summer house/messy storage space into a studio complete with a potter’s wheel, a dark room and workbench etc, so that's exciting! I go weekly to an artists’ workshop (Ray Pearson... maybe you've heard of him?), and there I have access to kilns and just being surrounded by other creatives is great! Especially living so far away from any creative hub. But I've decided that I really need to carry on with my research and like I said, being so far away from any 'creative hub' is I feel more draining than being inundated with work, so I'm currently applying for the Fine Art Postgrad course at the RA & the Masters course at The Slade so I can continue working efficiently, (like I was in my final year at Chelsea). In other exciting news, I found out yesterday that my application for funding from the British Arts Council for a community photography project I'll be doing with youths in my area has been accepted and so as well as teaching, creating and curating a show with the kids I feel this will elevate my portfolio for my RA application.