Zoe Boundry

Lives of Artists seems to be gathering a momentum as the more artists who join in seem to want to share and give ideas on solutions to the various dilemmas that recur when it comes to the tricky business of creating.

One of these artists is Zoe Boundry, whom I first visited in June during her final Photographers Degree Show for RAW 2010 held in a light and airy space in Nottingham’s city centre.

Her work is very contemplatory, the feel of her pieces which are very much in the present also have a sense of timelessness;  a personal view point and whilst sharing that being almost documentary.

So nuff said, again you know what I’m like with letting images speak for themselves. Here are photos of Zoë’s exhibition:



Zoe Boundry : The Summerfield Series

This is my personal feeling, (an area in which I think the photographs do encourage you to explore):

I recognised an era, a gender, and being acutely aware that the Second World War child/teen generation is in demise, also a sense of time moving on.

And, it wasn’t until later when Zoe informed me this was her Grandma’s home, in which she took the photographs after she had passed away, that I then recognised what I had been feeling about them – the personal view – which became part of the wider presence of a collective passage of time.




The Summerfield Series

One of the things that came to me was how, as with many of this generations’ surroundings. The items and objects on display in the home, were looked at daily for nearly an entire life. A sense of permanence, a homely aesthetic; a solidness in the furniture, an expression of self through things of individual appeal and personal meaning.

My mum also died recently and she as a teenager during the war, drove ambulances across Manchester during the blitz. Something I believe she was still contemplating years later – something that had affected how she saw the world and her surroundings and wanted to believe other.

My neighbour too (without wanting to dwell on the dying side of things too much) also passed away last month, she was 84. And although I knew she was from Estonia, I had no idea until going to her funeral that she had come to the UK escaping from the camps, arriving alone with nothing. Never was there a more cheery, independent, down to earth, intelligent and lovely woman.

I say all this, not to detract from Zoe’s work but because of :

A generation who had been through an awful lot.

And yet their lives, surroundings and attitudes tried to show a solid belief in human spirit despite all that. 

Zoe’s photos for me on a very personal level, speak of those contemplations after what must have been the shock and personal horrors of that war, of which so many of that generation had no choice but to come to terms with.

Things placed with meaning and order, adaptations over time, objects from previous times and people.   

An entire essence of a personal but generational history in the home.


The Summerfield Series

I asked Zoe how she saw the practicalities of continuing now the transition from degree to finding her own space creatively was on the horizon.

“I see myself progressing into galleries, curating and also exhibiting. I will have to see how my work progresses; my aim next is to go back to the space I photographed and capture it without the objects and furniture. Another project I hope to develop is English gardens.”

“Money – the day job – debt (especially student debt), like I said above, day job; curating and hopefully this will help with my student debt. I see this debt as something that had to be for me to progress at something I want to succeed in, if I did not go to university, I would not have gained the knowledge I own today. How to look at things critically (my own work critically), how to research a subject, how to give a relevant contribution to writing and finally the experience I had at university is something once in a life time which could never be changed”.

And as for compromise?

“I am unsure I will have to compromise much in my photography as I have no interest in becoming a freelance photographer, my photography will be on my terms, I want to create what I am interested in. But I am fully aware that with the career I wish to pursue I may have to compromise at some points”.

The reflective calm in the way the images were conceived, I found beautiful, totally absorbing and enlightening. Take some time to view these and the other images on Zoe Boundry’s site.

I already feel I’ve said too much, in trying to describe a not altogether describable feeling – but in some ways the personal does become part of the projected view of these images.

And by way of another personal view of Zoe’s view visit Heather Steele’s look at Summerfields and how Zoe approached something which she felt she needed and wanted to do, but with that also brought its own questions.

Back next Thursday with more art and related stuff ohhhhh! including things like food, theatre and the old chestnut of dumbing down the arts for the wider social good? and also some trains on the horizon ! the romantic type like the Orient Express – you will not find me posting from a station while listing engine numbers for your delight! This too has a destination of arty intent while travelling on the romantically named Francisco de Goya overnight train to Madrid.

And we will be returning very shortly with more Lives of Artists in a new series starting soon!