Q&A with artist, Zea

How long have these works been in the making? Can you tell me a bit about your painting process?

These works have been in the making for about 2 years. I started by experimenting ways of 'painting' without conventional methods on small scale wood and fabrics until this grew onto a plastic material which let the paint become the whole painting. 

The prints are more recent with the originals on paper and further exploration onto plastic. It is a tendency of mine to start with the original method then see how far I can push the boundaries of a particular medium which in this case was holding an image.

Which artists inspire you most?

I love 1960's minimal artists, all of them, especially Donald judd, Sol de Witt, Richard Serra and Carol Bove. They create a basis of inspiration when I need to pair back and look at the beginning of the movement.  Contemporary artists Ricky Swallow and Hanny Armanious along with the Designer Rick Owens also provide a source of inspiration. 

Your works can be reshaped and installed directly in relation to the space around them. Does the surrounding architecture inspire how you see the works come together as an installation? 

I like spaces which are highly contrasting to the traditionally clinical feel of a gallery. Industrial environments can suggest a past life of productivity which has a lot to say on its own, whether this was last week, year or at least a decade ago. When what was previously there is replaced with my works I like to consider the history of function of that space and all the nooks and crannies which can be highlighted. I guess I like the idea of using the existing architecture to draw attention to places in a space that would usually be overlooked. 

You also combine sculpture and printmaking. What draws you to particular materials and images?

It tends to be a collective process - I am drawn to pure materials which I cannot instantly trace the origin of any further, black & white paint, wood, steel, bronze and concrete. Using plastic sheets can be problematic for me because of how synthetic they are, so I am looking into what else I could use to get the same transparency. I don't usually use images as I feel they are already too suggestive, unless I am ironically using them to explore a context and how far I can stretch this. 

Do you have any new work on the go at the moment? 

Yes, I am currently moving into the purely sculptural realm. Instead of combining mailable paint as sculptures, I am pairing down the process to focus more on the simple form of a stronger material. Exploring the possibilities of structures that can be made from pure materials with the least amount of adhesion. This is slightly more technically challenging and is starting with lots of drawings and sketches which will need to be tested and fabricated when they are ready.