Naomi Zouwer

Beginnings, 2023

120 × 92 cm
Beginnings is about human experience. My painting practice synthesises personal narratives, memory and objects. I bring these elements together here, in oil on canvas, invoking the story of my father’s family. With six kids, two with cystic fibrosis, they came to Australia from the Netherlands in the 1950s searching for a better life. My grandparents are holding hands with one of the toddlers as they take their first steps in front of their new home. The ribbons are a motif I use as a metaphor for the air around us and to create a sense of movement across the picture plane. The ribbons also hold personal significance and can evoke nostalgic memories and illuminate threads of experience through our lives.

Naomi Zouwer is an artist based in Canberra/Kambri Australia. She works across drawing, printmaking and painting making works that engage with ideas of cultural heritage, identity and the social role of personal objects.

In 2019, Naomi was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy from the School of Art and Design at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. Prior to this, in 1997, she received her Graduate Diploma in Education and a Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts) from the University of Newcastle.

Naomi has had work selected for numerous art prizes including; the Ravenswood Art Prize 2023, the Burnie Print Prize 2023, the Muswellbrook painting prize 2022, the Waverley Art Prize 2020, the Goulburn Art Award 2020, Lethbridge Small Scale Award, 2018; Kate Derum Tapestry Prize, 2016; Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award, 2015; M16 Drawing Prize, 2021, 2015 and the ANU School of Art and Design Drawing Prize, 2014.

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