Themes of memory and place are explored in Zoe Maxwell’s paintings as she creates work informed by lived experiences and research to depict the act of remembering and the vagaries of memory.
Zoe’s intrigue surrounding the nature of memory developed after a family member suffered a brain tumour, damaging their ability to recall and collect memories with the same clarity. This experience has influenced much of her practice, making a variety of work, from landscapes to figurative scenes, all with the same overarching themes.
Her process begins by digitally manipulating a reference from an archive of personal and family images. However, as the piece evolves the image becomes less influential as she works more instinctively in handling the paint, resulting in an amalgamation of predetermined and improvised surface effects.
Despite differing greatly these two forms of memory work in conjunction to create a diverse and thorough documentation of our experiences.
Explicit and Implicit are investigations into two different forms of memory. Explicit memory involves the long-term remembering of a personal experiences and details. The work describes the fragility of long-term memory through the fragmentation of elements, encouraging the viewers gaze to roam in an attempt to piece the scene together. There is a sense of duality in the painting as the sharper details are juxtaposed with more ambiguous, tonal areas, portraying the complexities of long-term remembering.
Implicit memory is known as unconscious remembering, information that is acquired and used unconsciously. Implicit captures the notion of a deep pool of memory, the mood of the work is tranquil yet electric as there are pockets of activity scattered about the scene.