Previous exhibitions and projects
Nordic Black Theatre, Oslo, Norway, 2018
From Shadowland to Wonderland, Hole Artcenter, Krokkleiva, Norway, 2016
Necessary Noise, Hole Artcenter, Krokkleiva, Norway, 2013
Spence Gallery, Toronto, Canada, 2012
Avisca Fine Art Gallery, Georgia, USA, 2010
128 Gallerie, Kingston, Jamaica, 2008
Galleri Elenor Elenor Martinsen, Oslo, Norway, 2008
Bill Hodges Gallery, New York City, USA, 2007
Gallery Twenty-Four, Berlin, Germany, 2006
GaleriaZero, Barcelona, Spain, 2005
Galleri Ramfjord, Oslo, Norway, 2005
About the artist
Zoya Taylor is a self-taught artist of mixed cultural heritage who currently resides in Oslo, Norway. Born in Vancouver, Canada, Zoya subsequently spent her early childhood in Germany and at the age of eight, moved with her parents to Kingston, Jamaica. Her time spent at the Institute of Jamaica’s National Gallery and at drawing classes as a teenager served as an early source of artistic inspiration for Zoya. Following a career in the social sciences, Zoya began painting full-time in 2000 and since then has participated in international exhibitions across Europe, the USA, Canada and Jamaica and featured in publications such as Vanity Fair (2019), Caribbean News Service (2015), The Gleaner (Jamaica) (2012) and Arc Magazine (2012).
Zoya has developed a highly individualistic style of figuration and an idiosyncratic body of work that largely centres on a recurring cast of characters drawn partly from memories from her childhood but also very much a product of her current psyche.
Sources of inspiration
Zoya’s inspiration is found within the evolutionary stages of human life; from the promise and innocence of infancy to each of the stages that follow. Zoya’s experiences growing up between different cultures, practices and languages are also a key source of inspiration for her work, which often looks into the challenges people face in terms of alienation, safety, difference and belonging. Shining a spotlight on the ‘misfits’ in society, Zoya seeks to address important questions of marginality and exclusion.
Zoya aims to explore the different facets of humanity in her work. She explores themes of secrecy, pride, fear, disappointment, grief and hurt - but also hope, humour and love. As a result, she paints imaginary subjects rather than individual portraits. The characters portrayed are unique and yet anonymous. She invites the viewer to strip away the defences behind which adults have learned to hide, to see themselves reflected in the works and ultimately, the commonality beneath our apparent differences.
“My art falls somewhat outside the norm, but I guess that is only fitting. I paint the cast of characters who fill the spaces in between. We all have a cast of characters that define our lives. My cast is the cast of the misfit. They are the outsiders and the immigrants found between cultures, continents, languages and disciplines.”
"I try to constantly keep moving and evolving as an artist, and not to stagnate. In terms of new work going forward, I don't intend to play it safe." – Zoya Taylor