another publication by IMAGE asia

Zoe Young


Zoe Young (b.1978) is a rising talent within the Sydney art scene. Zoe graduated from the National Art School (Sydney). She is currently based in Bowral (Southern Highlands, NSW) with her husband and two young children. Zoe's paintings are marked by her eclectic use of colour and sharp eye for unique landscape and still-life compositions.

Zoe's childhood included "growing up in Bowral in spring, Thredbo in winter and at the beach in Sydney in summer". Having graduated in sculpture at the National Art School, she is self-taught in painting; her passion and skill for still life, capturing characters in portraiture and translating the landscape in painting is evidently unique and of her own voice. Through her use of pastel tones and dramatic shadow, her still life compositions reflect an emotive response to the environment in which she practices.

Zoe's work is a truly authentic representation of the Australian aesthetic; within her paintings you will find subtle nod to her Australian heritage through understated motifs. As a modern reinterpretation of the traditional still life, her subject matter reveals moments of simple pleasures - inspired through her experience of motherhood and living in the Southern Highlands. Zoe's perspective on her art making process - "It's like a muscle, you have to keep your hand and eye co-ordination fit. There are tips and tricks to make it easier, but you know when you're hitting it and when you're not."

Zoe is a seasoned finalist in the Archibald Portraiture Prize, selected in 2014 with her portrait of Olympic Snowboarder Torah Bright and again in 2016 with her portrait of Indigenous Australian model Sam Harris. Within her portraiture and still life works, Zoe has truly excelled and established herself as one of the forefront painters within a new generation of Australian artists. As one of Australia's rising talents, Zoe received the 2013 John Briscoe Memorial Prize judged by Lucy Culliton and runner up of the 2014 Yen Young Female Artist of the Year Award with her portrait of Winter Olympian Frank Prihoda.

In one of Zoe's landmark exhibitions, 'Home' (2015) at The Art Society, Southern Highlands Zoe's body of work reflected her childhood of seasonal changes - Bowral in spring, Thredbo in winter and summer in Sydney. In the last stages of pregnancy at the time of this exhibition, Zoe's art making methods had 'turned her eye to the more natural and slower things in life. ' Most recently, Zoe has been exploring landscape and still-life inspired by her surroundings in the Southern Highlands.

Zoe's 'Salt Life' collection of paintings was featured at Phuket's Baan Kata Arts Fest in January at Mom Tri's Villa Royale, and will be exhibited there until 30 April.