Cole is pleased to present Thalasseum, an exhibition of new work by Zoe Paul. In her second show at the gallery Paul employs the tactile nature of form and material to explore perceptions of temporality.
Where in the past Paul has directly referenced the manner in which historical artifacts and civilizations are experienced via the mediation of a museum, Thalasseum consciously addresses the value of pure form in relation to subject matter. For the series of sculptures in the exhibition Paul has used clay from the outpost of an old Minoan settlement in Greece, thereby directly using materials from the site of an ancient civilization. This particular clay is crucial to the abstracted form and appearance of the sculptures, with the limitations of the rough material dictating their size. The purification of the clay from rock form to malleable workability is an important part of the process. Being done by hand it has allowed the material to retain its innate properties and thereby speak of its inherent sculptural traditions as well as its relationship with nature. The finger-prints and traces of the hand show an attempt to construct without collapse, to work with the physicality of the material. Through using a material that relates to a classical civilization the works reference the forms of ancient objects, potentially eroded by the sea. At the core of the sculptures lie figurative forms that dissolve and fragment.
The painting in the exhibition continues Paul’s interest in traditional materials. A large raw canvas is worked over with whitewash and household pigments, and assumes a more domestic nature than the sculptures. Suggestive of an ancient mural or an object from the detritus of a civilization, it continues the sense of displacement within the exhibition.
Zoe Paul, b.1987. Lives and works in London, currently studying at the Royal College of Art. Recent exhibitions include Lovely Summer Sunshine Time, Royal College of Art, London (2011), Pass Quietly, Cole, London (2010), Between The Lines, Cass Sculpture Foundation (2010)