© 2023 by Zoe Marks. Proudly created with Wix.com

Statement of Research & Practice

My art practice addresses the self-creative capacity of materials in relation to embodiment and landscape. Using watercolor on fibrous paper, and ink on synthetic paper in more abstract compositions, my work leverages matter’s autopoietic potential to produce new visual forms. My work is predominantly large scale paintings made to emulate the transitory similarities between the physical, human form, and the environmental, exterior form of nature. Visual representations of visceral tissue,  geology, sedimentation, topography, and body scanning  are all present in my work. The work I’ve produced over the last 5 years consists of a line straddling between abstraction and figuration, using layer based processes such as collage and iterative ink re-saturation pours.


At eighteen years old, I underwent a spinal fusion of the L5 and S1 vertebrae. The physical experience and consequences of this procedure have since informed my routines, my philosophical outlook on my life, and my art practice. Subsequently, I’ve grown intensely attentive to my bodily sensations—whether painful, pleasurable, or neutral. My interest here not only manifests as an embodied condition, but also as a fixation on the large, exterior of space beyond the body. Expansive space has become a point of consideration in my life and my practice, driving a desire to project out into space, as an overcoming of bodily constraints. Here, my work takes on a stark contrast of darkness and luminosity, referencing both visceral interiority—where ligaments, bone, and muscle connect, contort, contract, and expand—and the intensity of perceiving a massive landscape—where sunlight coats expansive space, where geological formation, sedimentary dissemination, and planetary cycles distribute earthly matter throughout the environment.


My ambitions materialize themselves in my art practice, my routines, and my teaching, and develop through discipline and routine. My health has forced me to impose a regimentation onto my physical experience, where I must perform physical therapy routinely in order to be able to meet my obligations. To further develop my physicality, beyond therapeutic maintenance, I maintain a regimen that allows growth, investigation, and recovery. To develop myself artistically, I maintain a disciplined studio practice that allows production, investigation, and reflection. To develop my students artistically and personally, I maintain with them a routine of developmental exercises, investigation through new prompting, and reflections on and developments beyond understandings established prior.


Having a consistent thread run throughout my personal, artistic, and educational roles allows me to maintain an authenticity to remain who am I am and build on what I am, to become more than I am. Here, the concept of layering as thematically related to my life and my practice presents itself again. Layers are considered in many facets: as collage, as the autopoietic systems at play in my ink paintings, as layers of earth, as layers of flesh and tissue, as the slow, continuous process of healing, as the iterative, gradual development of ones physical capacity, as the stages of development within a person. My practice addresses and investigates systematic development through a concept of layering, reflects a broad scope of worldly and embodied materials and subjects. 

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