An Interview With Zoë Williams

from Annalisa Chelli - 5 September 2016
Annalisa Chelli

Annalisa Chelli

Community Manager at DHGshop
Sicily and Tuscany are in my blood. Travelling, movies, music, and art are the things I enjoy the most. I love whales, tattoos, the sea, Africa, good food, big smiles, Picasso, ‘The Master and Margarita’, and ‘Marriage Italian Style’. I believe in Charles Darwin and in the proverbs my grandmother said.
Annalisa Chelli

Zoë Williams

Selected Resume

  • Born in 1983 in New Orleans, LA, Zoë Williams holds a BA in Fine Art from the University of New Orleans and a Certificate in Fiber Art from the University of Washington. Her work in needle felted wool has been exhibited in galleries around the world. She currently lives and works in New York City

Solo Exhibitions

  • ORACLES, PSG Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, June 5, 2015
  • EIDOLONS, Ghost Gallery, Seattle, WA, April 11, 2013

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • Dystopian Forest, Gristle Art Gallery, Brooklyn, NY,  March 19, 2016
  • Reverie,  Screaming Sky Gallery, Portland, OR, February 25, 2016
  • Tell Them Stories: Origins, curated by Tun Myaing and Marshall Jones, Mark Miller Gallery, New York, NY, October 8, 2015
  • Touched, curated by Shana Kohnstamm, Ground Floor Gallery, Nashville, TN, October 1, 2015
  • Realms of the Unreal, curated by Samantha Levin, Gristle Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, September 12, 2015
  • Other Worlds, The Hive Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, March 7, 2015
  • Platinum Blend, curated by Stephanie Chefas, Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, CA, January 10, 2015

Zoë Williams

Interview

DHG: what are your sources of inspiration?
ZOE: 
dreams, folklore, mythology, animals, and the Collective Unconscious.

D: do you use one color more than others in your work?
Z: 
I work primarily in white and gold.

D: world of textile art is wide and diverse, why has wool caught your attention?
Z:
wool is an extraordinary material. Through needle felting, I am able to achieve a high level of control and detail, while maintaining the appearance of softness.

D: what do you express with your Soft Sculptures and works?
Z:
ultimately, I hope that the viewer will find his or her own meaning.

D: is there a time of year or of the day in which you are more creative?
Z: 
Fall is my favorite time of year, but creativity for me is mercurial.

D: once your work is finished, how do you feel? Are you possessive and wish you could keep it all to yourself or are you eager to share it with others?
Z: 
I often feel a little sad. I love sharing my work with others, but it’s always bittersweet when the long process of bringing a piece to life comes to an end.

D: for some people, the creative process is also an occasion for a deep self-analysis. Is this the case for you?
Z:
definitely. There is an enormous amount of myself in each piece of artwork I create. My hope is that I have gone deep enough to touch the Collective Unconscious, so that when you look at my work you see something of yourself there too.

D: tell us about your collaboration with DHG. Which of our fibers have you chosen for your work, and why? Is there a particular message behind the works that came out of these materials? What will you take away from this collaboration?
Z: 
I chose the Carded Maori Wool, Extra Fine Merino Prefelt, Extra Fine Merino Wool Tops, and an assortment of Fiber Samples. This was some of the most beautiful fiber I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with! It inspired me to create three little totem creatures that celebrate the unique textures of the material.

D: what’s your favorite movie?
Z: 
12 Monkeys. I love the portrayal of time travel and the futility of trying to change the past.

D: what literary character do you feel is most similar to yourself?
Z:
maybe the protagonist of “Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World” (Haruki Murakami) – caught between inner and outer worlds.

D: what’s the sentence you use more often?
Z: 
“Oh! Look at him!” (every time I see an animal, or a picture of an animal).

D: if you had the chance to choose a sound or an image to send into outer space inside the Voyager Golden Record to show aliens what life on Earth is like, what would you choose?
Z: 
if it were possible, I would like to capture a dream. I dream very vividly every night and I can’t imagine what life would be like without dreaming.

D: is there a place you especially love, a place which holds special memories for you?
Z: 
Japan! I’ve been a few times; it’s just one of those places for me. I visited Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto for the first time recently and had a transcendent moment there at the top of the mountain – it was really something special.

D: if you had to choose one adjective to describe yourself, what would it be?
Z:
sincere.

D: if you had a time machine and could travel to the past, which period in history would you choose and which historical figures would you want to meet?
Z: 
I don’t think I would like to visit the past at all! I would like to use the time machine to visit the future, and maybe not return!

zoewilliams.com

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