December 2009 – The Sickly Trickle – Zoe Williams

Zoe Williams - Untitled (2009)

Untitled, Zoe Williams, 2009
African ebony inlaid with mother of pearl, coral, abalone and tortoiseshell

TROVE presents The Sickly Trickle, a solo exhibition of works from Bristol based artist Zoe Williams. The Sickly Trickle presents a sculptural environment, acting as punctuation to The Rootstein Hopkins Award, which culminates in a solo show at Spike Island Art Space, Bristol, in May 2010.

Building an internalised and often fragmented dialogue between objects and materials, Williams fetishizes her dismembered installations, paintings and sculptures, whilst toying with and engineering a delicate balance between the sacred and the profane. Using a wide range of references from George Bataille’s transgressive texts to Art Deco furniture and Fairy Tale imagery; Williams juxtaposes a mixture of materials and techniques traditionally associated with the ‘High Arts and Crafts’, including porcelain, gold leaf and Inlay with modern materials, such as silicone rubber and Styrofoam.

Williams is interested in what happens when objects and materials are abstracted from their original contexts and reconfigured to form a myriad of associations and ambiguities. Drawing parallels with the rich material tapestries of isolated objects, which are presented to us in Fairy Tales and Myths. In these tales items are listed and recited like spells; precious jewels, toadstools, golden girders and lumps of coal are offered to us like glinting talisman. These items in turn begin to take on new transmutable modes of being, as if they exist in a state of dislocation where all is transient. It is this instability, which Williams seeks to harness and evoke through her practice.
The Sickly Trickle sees Williams’ fanciful style alter the dusty Old Science museum in Birmingham into to a subtly irreverent landscape. Visitors are invited to explore a space where black waxen forms solidify between the floor tiles and traces of gold leaf fleck the walls.


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