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Artists Statement

Zoe Benbow is a studio-based independent artist with 33 years professional experience and lives in Hackney with her teenage son.

At a time when we have all had to stay close to home, Zoe’s recent paintings explore the subject of trees as an expression of an accessible wilderness on our doorstep.

These paintings developed in her London studio and inspired by photographs and drawings gathered in the wooded landscapes of Grasmere touch on landscape as remembered in fleeting moments.

By revisiting these images through the processes of painting and repeatedly exploring the same motifs over a long period of time, the canvases become about an implied landscape, a landscape of the mind’s eye. They reference the artist’s accumulated experience of other landscapes in time and place.

It is perhaps in this way, that the paintings attempt to be like poetry, by proposing to give us fragments of time and intrigue, mapping points by which we can colour the bigger picture to reimagine and reframe our individual and ultimately universal experience.

Zoe Benbow


1987- 1989: Royal College of Art, London – MA (RCA) – MA Thesis – Distinction
1982- 1985: Ravensbourne College of Art and Design – BA Hons – First Class
1981- 1982: Berkshire College of Art and Design – General Foundation Diploma

Selected Solo Shows

2021: ‘Forest Walk’ – 60 Threadneedle Street EC2 – VJB Arts Project
2020: Enchanted Wood – Three Colt Gallery E14
2017-18: Dorothy’s Colour, ACE funded project with poet Sarah Corbett, touring exhibition Peter Scott Gallery,The Wordsworth Trust and The Poetry Society
2015: Hay Hill Gallery, Baker Street W1
2014: ‘Shifting Light’ – Moorgate Exchange- VJB Arts Project EC2
2014: REDHANDED – Cromer Street,, London WC1 – Artist-led Project – solo show and three month artist in residency
2013-14: ‘Where we begin to look’ – Landscape and Poetry 2014: Touring exhibition commissioned by The Poetry Society – Small World Theatre Cardigan, Hebden Bridge Poetry Festival, Glass Tank, Oxford Brookes University, Norwich Arts Centre and Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere
2012: ‘Western Seas’ – Threadneedle Street EC2 – Hammerson Project Sept-Jan 2013
2012: Western Seas – Gresham Street, London EC2 – Hammerson Project, June- Sept
2012: ‘Wild Wild’ Waves – Hay Hill Gallery, Cork Street London W1
2010: Wild Path – Hay Hill Gallery, Cork Street W1
2010: ‘Wayfarer’ – Grosvenor Street London W1- Hammerson Project
2008: La Galeria – Consell de Cent, 279 08011 Barcelona
2008: August Art – Wenlock Basin, London N1 – two person exhibition
2009: ‘Sentier Sauvage’ – ANPQ Foundation, 34800 Peret, France
2006: Dartington College of Art, artist’s residency and gallery exhibition
2006: ‘Tectonic’- Cafe Gallery Projects, Southwark Park, London SE16 (Arts Council funded– supported by Grants for the Arts)
2005: La Galeria, Consell de Cent, Barcelona
2003: New Work, Wenlock Basin – Artist’s Initiative Project
1997: Christopher Hull Gallery London SW1
1995: Christopher Hull Gallery SW1
1991: Berkeley Square Gallery, London W1
1991: Templeton College, Oxford

Selected Residencies and Awards

2015: Artist in Residence, British–Kazahk Society, Almaty, Kazakhstan
2015: Artist in Residence, Outlandia Glen Nevis Scotland
2012: Returning Fellow – Ballinglen Arts Foundation, North Mayo, Ireland – month
2011: Fellowship -Ballinglen Arts Foundation- month
2010: ‘As I Walked Out’ London 2012 Cultural Olympiad Project – commissioned by Stroud Valley Arts – Walking Project in the Forest of Dean
2008: Residency Kakslauttanen Artic Resort – Finland – short residency
2006: Artist In Residence, Dartington College of Art – one month
2003: 3 month research period – the support team for The Arts Catalyst’s Makrolab project, Central Highlands, Scotland
2002: Symbiotica – Tissue Culture Workshop – participant, Adelaide Australia
2001: Year of the Artist Award, Southern Arts, Mural Commission
2000: Cill Rialaig, Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry, Ireland- one month residency
1996: Binz 39, Scuol-Nairs, Switzerland – three month residency
1991: Delfina Studio Trust, Andalucia, Spain- three month residency
1989: Delfina Studio Trust, London – one year funded studio residency

Selected Group Exhibitions

2007: Artfutures, Contemporary Art Society, Bloomberg Space, London
2004: ‘Any Minute Every Minute’- Wenlock Basin N1 – curated by Zoe Benbow
2003: Mall Galleries,W1 – two person, collector’s sponsorship
2002: Stephen Lacey Gallery, EC1 – three person exhibition
2001: Mall Galleries, W1 – two person, collector’s sponsorship
1996: Standpoint Gallery N1
1995: ‘Squaring the Circle’- Delfina Trust Gallery ,Bermondsey St, SE1 -two person
1993: ‘SS Excess’ – Factual Nonsense EC2 – Installation for inaugural exhibition to coincide with the event ‘ A Fete Worse than Death’

Selected Teaching and Educational Projects

Zoe is an experienced art educator, leading workshops related to her art projects she has also taught painting and drawing at graduate and under graduate level as well as primary, secondary and adult education special needs.

2019: RIVA Residencies in Visual Arts – School project
2018: RIVA School project.
2017: 2018 Dorothy’s Colour – touring exhibition – education workshops
2015: Visiting Lecturer, Oxford Brookes University
2012-13: Where we Begin to Look – Touring exhibition – education workshops
2010-11: Painting and Drawing Pathway Module Leader, Life Drawing Tutor Oxford Brookes University
2008: Spring Semester drawing course – Shristi Institute of Art, Design and Technology Bangalore
2005: Drawing from Observation – Module Leader, Department of Industrial Design Engineering (MA Students) Royal College of Art
1992: Project Leader – Fine Art Tutor, City and Guilds School of Art -Autumn Term and autumn term 1989