Approved: 05.10.2018

Zena Blackwell

Artist

Approved: 05.10.2018

I am a painter based in Cardiff, Wales, UK. I exhibit regularly and have work in private collections around the World. I completed my MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, London, and my BA at Wimbledon College of Art. 

My practice investigates the mad, anxiety-ridden and messy moments of raising children and keeping house. I present playful and colourful paintings that scrutinise the wide-ranging

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      Artist Statement

      I am a painter based in Cardiff, Wales, UK. I exhibit regularly and have work in private collections around the World. I completed my MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, London, and my BA at Wimbledon College of Art. 

      My practice investigates the mad, anxiety-ridden and messy moments of raising children and keeping house. I present playful and colourful paintings that scrutinise the wide-ranging spectrum of emotions experienced in motherhood. My work can be beautiful and humorous but also sinister and menacing, often leaving a heavy feeling of disquiet. My paintings have been described as being ‘psychologically charged'. 

      I presented my first solo show consisting of over 30 works at Cardiff MADE in November 2018 after winning first prize in the Summer Open Exhibition the year before (for which I secured a £5k Arts Council of Wales Award). The exhibition was included in a list of the top 5 UK exhibitions by a-n magazine and Wales Arts Review included it in a top 10 list of the best Welsh Visual Arts for 2018. I was selected to exhibit at Y Lle Celf at the Eisteddfod in 2018 which was held at the Senedd (Welsh National Assembly building), Cardiff Bay

      CV & Education

      Education
      2011 MA Fine Art Central Saint Martins, London, UK
      1999 BA Fine Art (hons) Wimbledon College of Art, London, UK

      Exhibitions
      2019

      Upcoming:
      PAINT at PS Mirabel, Manchester 27.6 - 3.8
      Empower Me! at g39, Cardiff 16.7.19


      Arcade Studios at Bath Fringe Arts Festival, Bath
      Tactile Bosch in Japan, Korea and Taiwan 
      The Mutterscream: Crepuscular Lush, Jacob’s Market, Cardiff
      Viridis: Spring Show at Cardiff MADE
       

      2018
      Winter Show: Cardiff MADE 
      CSAD Auction at g39, Cardiff
      Seen Not Heard: Solo Exhibition at Cardiff MADE, Cardiff
      Made in Roath Open at g39, Cardiff 
      Y lle Celf, The Eisteddfod, Senedd, Cardiff 
      Filia (feminist conference in Manchester. Exhibition traveled to Sao Paulo, Brazil)

      2017
      Ankle Biters at Made in Roath, Cardiff
      MADE Summer Open Exhibition, Cardiff, curated by Zoe Gingell (won 1st Prize)

      2016
      ‘Domestic Bliss’ at Made in Roath, Cardiff

      2012
      ‘ArtLabBern’ Switzerland: My Beautiful Son project, Bern, Switzerland
      Clit Rock’ My film Pleasure Max was shown at this regular anti-FGM event, London

      2011
      Central Saint Martins MA Degree show, London
      New Pretenders’ Bargehouse, London (Interim MA degree show)

      Pre-2010
      Selected works at The Glass Bar, London
      ‘Slap & Tickle’ at The Yard Bar, London (curated)
      Wimbledon Library group show

      Awards and Grants
      2018
      £5,000Arts Council of Wales Grant 

      2017
      1st prize Cardiff MADE Summer Open 

      Open Studios
      2016
      Cardiff Contemporary Open Studios
      Made in Roath Festival Open Studios

      Press/Printed/Online/Books/Interviews
      2019
      Together and Sunspell – interview and photos 
      Axisweb – one of five painters to watch (January)
      Axisweb – Highlights (April) 
       

      2018
      A-N – ‘Seen Not Heard’ included in Top 5 UK exhibitions of the week
      Western Mail Newspaper - double page feature
      Wales Arts Review – feature
      Wales Arts Review – included in a list of 10 of the Best of Welsh Visual Arts 2018 
      Around Town Magazine ‘Cardiff People’
      Galleries Magazine
      Cardiff Students
      Buzz Magazine
      Cardiff Times review of Seen Not Heard
      BBC Wales – Eisteddfod review mention. 
      ‘Painting of the Day’ - Contemporary British Painting
      Axisweb - Highlights
      Saatchi Art – Curated collection 
      Cardiff Life Magazine
      Radio Cardiff ‘Pitch Illustration Radio’ hour-long interview

      2017
      Cardiff Life Magazine
      ‘Under the Radar’ - Artslant global mailout 
      Lumin Journal 
      ‘Painting of the Day’ Contemporary British Painting

      2009
      Flying Graphics, Monsa, Barcelona

      2008
      Fly By Night, Thames & Hudson, London

      Historical
      AN Magazine, QX Magazine

      Misc 
      2017-present day – Founded Contemporary Cymru
      2010-2013: Curated the Art in the Bar programme at Corsica Studios
      2011: Tour guide at the Hayward Gallery for Tracey Emin retrospective 
      2009-2012: – Assistant to Sacha Craddock
      2007 – 2011: – Assistant to Frith Street Gallery Director, Jane Hamlyn
      2005: Judge and award presenter at The London Short Film Festival, ICA, London
      2000: Showcased recent work on the TV series ‘Young, Gifted & Broke'