exhibition
25/04/19
29/06/19
Despina
by Zoë Paul
Despina by Zoë Paul, 24 April - 29 June 2019, La Loge, Brussels, Courtesy of La Loge and Lola Pertsowsky

Opening
Wednesday, 24 April 2019, 6-9pm

Exhibition dates
April 25–June, 29 2019

Extended opening hours during Art Brussels: 
Thursday, 25 April – Saturday, 27 April 2019 (closed on Sunday), 10-7pm

Zoë Paul’s work consists of elements and motifs that—whether at the personal or communal scale—convey an essence of belonging. She employs timeless, general-purpose, low-tech materials and techniques, such as ceramics, weaving and drawing, that pertain to a small-scale economy and are used to meet daily life needs. Her work aims to examine our relationship with tradition and explores shifts in perception around the value of an object according to time and context.

In Despina Zoë Paul explores the impermanence of life through the lens of ancient mythologies, fertility and femininity. Invited by La Loge, she constructs a narrative through new works and material experiments that depict scenes from both the lively territories above the earth’s surface and, below it, the divine yet obscure underworld. Paul underlines the interdependence of these two spaces through the use of symbols and allegories. Taking a more holistic approach to nature, Paul emphasizes tradition and femininity over more modern forms of relating to the world, and highlights the bounties provided by nature when handled with attention and care.

The exhibition approaches the multiple facets of Despina, daughter of Poseidon and Demeter, as the mistress of the house and the underground deity of nature, birth and death. In Greek the word also refers to “lady”, unfolding a series of associations made by the artist around the notion of femininity. Guided by the mythological figure of Despina, Paul addresses craft as something that has long been considered a feminine and domestic preoccupation, predominantly associated with the confined space of the household. Rather than seeing craft as a way of controlling women within a biased image of femininity, Paul examines how communities and affinities are produced through craft and reproductive labor.

Despina is also the goddess of the grain, harvest, growth, and the fertility of the earth. She is an apt protagonist in the narrative of permaculture and natural farming as alternatives to patriarchal modes of production, including industrial farming and manufacture. Permaculture encourages communities to be resourceful, sustainable and self-reliant, while maintaining a balanced and healthy relationship with the earth. In order to be able to do this, according to Japanese Farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka, we need to know “what unadulterated nature is, so that we can instinctively understand what needs to be done—and what must not be done—to work in harmony with its processes." This intuitive way of handling resources and materials is reflected in her use of elements that are older than humanity itself, such as clay, water, mud and goat manure. Paul evokes an economy associated with daily life needs, in which craft has the further function of transferring knowledge and ideas, and which cannot be separated from performances of gender.

Edition

On the occasion of the exhibition Despina (24 April - 29 June 2019), a limited edition of 15 was produced.

Zoë Paul
Plates, 2019
Glazed ceramics
Variable dimension (from 15 x 15 cm to 24,5 x 23 cm)
Edition of 15

Price: 550 euros

For more information contact La Loge via info@la-loge.be 

 

About the artist

Zoë Paul (b. 1987, London) grew up between the Greek island of Kithira and Oxford, with South African origins. She now lives and works in Athens. After receiving her undergraduate degree at Camberwell College of Art, she completed her MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London. Past projects and exhibitions include La Perma-Perla Kraal Emporium, a collaborative work that invites visitors to sit around a long table and make clay beads (SPIKE Island, Bristol, 2018 and The Breeder, Athens, 2017); Equilibrists, organized by the New Museum, New York and the DESTE Foundation, Athens in collaboration with the Benaki Museum, Athens; Solitude and Village, an exhibition exploring social relations and indebtedness in the village (The Breeder, Athens, 2016), and Unorthodox (Jewish Museum, New York, 2015).