Always Family, 2019 | Zoya Taylor
Mixed Media (acrylic, handprinted paper on canvas)
34” x 30”
Born in Vancouver, B.C. Canada to Jamaican and Canadian parents, early childhood in Germany, raised in Kingston, Jamaica and a resident of Norway for more than twenty years. Zoya has a Masters degree in International Social Work from the University of British Columbia, Canada. After years of teaching at Universities, developing community programs and outreach facilities in Jamaica, Canada, Latvia, Bosnia Hercegovina and Norway, Zoya began painting full-time in 2000.
“My recent body of work is have dedicated to the idea of hope in the face of cynicism and despair.”
My life story is not an exhaustive history of everything that has happened to me. My life story is what I have chosen to focus on. As a painter I share my personal narratives, my personal stories through paintings. In my case it’s ended up being about the outsider; the misfit and I think the older I have become, the more I understand that being a so-called outsider is, for most of us, a natural state.
Some of us are more obviously outsiders simply by virtue of the way we look, what and who we identify as, and whatever other obvious difference presents itself in any given situation. I bring my own personal “outsiderness” to my paintings. The result of growing up in various different cultures and also that of being visibly different in a predominantly white society.
I also bring to my paintings a perceived otherness. The otherness that others define me as. An “otherness” which I myself donʼt really feel…canʼt really relate to. I donʼt want my “differentness” defined by anyone elseʼs standards just as I donʼt want the prevalent dystopian world view to defeat my inner hope. Instead I am interested in that place, that “living thing” which is in-between. That “in-between” place is a place of constant movement. It is a place where there is room for constant redefinition.
These paintings are not really portraits, because the people in these images donʼt really exist. They are composite figures, worked up from my imagination and from files of images, – photographs, clippings, drawings that I have made and/or gathered. They are characters drawn both from memory, imagination, dreams and reality. They are all mixed media. Acrylic, hand-painted paper on canvas.