Shimmer & Glimmer (2016)
AHC: Can you tell us a bit about your process, themes & inspirations?
I make sculptures using a technique called needle felting. It's a very slow, dry felting process in which a barbed needle is used to shape wool fiber. I draw inspiration from dreams, psychology, mythology, and animals. Ultimately I want to make sculptures that are approachable - cute, but a little strange - to encourage people to examine their own inner worlds.
Tori I & II (2016)
AHC: What first drew you to art? Was there a specific moment in your life or turning point where it became clear to you that you were being called to create?
There was no specific moment or event, it's just something I have always done.
AHC: Who are some of your artistic influences? Is there anyone outside of the art world who has had a huge impact on your work or who just generally inspires you, writers, filmmakers, musicians etc?
There are many artists whose work I admire, but the biggest influence on my artwork comes from my interest in Jungian psychology and spirituality. I have always dreamed very vividly and when I was young my parents introduced me to Jung's ideas of the archetypes, the collective unconscious, etc. Those concepts shaped my understanding of the dream world and continue to inform my art practice.
Tanuki I & II (2016)
AHC: Could you talk some about your ideas and concepts surrounding the spirit guide motif in your work?
When I started making felt sculptures, I had a dream about a white rabbit who gave me some sage advice. At first, I was obsessed with the idea of bringing the creatures I saw in my dreams to life - my first solo show was a collection of all of the animals that I had seen in the dream world. Over time, my work has become a lot less literal, but the idea of the sculpture as an oracle or totem remains.
AHC: When you're working on a piece what's the environment like, do you work best with silence or with music on, what is your studio environment/vibe like?
I definitely work best in silence. Sometimes I listen to Japanese language classes or old TV shows, but I can't work well with music playing. Most of the time I sit on the couch, surrounded by a cloud of white wool.
AHC: What is the first work of art you encountered that took your breath away?
The Lady & The Unicorn Tapestries at the Musée de Cluny in Paris. I was your typical cynical art student, but the tapestries were so beautiful and mysterious that it brought tears to my eyes.
AHC: If you could spend the day with any artist, from any field, living or dead, who would that person be and how would you spend the day together?
I think I prefer to relate to artwork as an object, independent of its creator, but if I had to choose, I would pick David Lynch. I love his films and I heard him speak a couple of years ago and it really impressed me that he flat out refused to explain his work to people. He said he made the films, just watch them - I feel the same way about visual art. Also, I had a dream recently that we were playing video games together and it was pretty fun!
Momonga I, II & III (2016)
AHC: Do you have any upcoming exhibits or new projects you'd like to tell people about?
Lately I've been working on some curatorial projects - I am really excited about UNICORN, a group show coming up in December 2016 at Gristle Art Gallery (gristleartgallery.com) in Brooklyn, NY. A portion of the proceeds from the exhibition will benefit the closest thing we have to a real unicorn - the Saola. I encourage everyone to check out http://www.savethesaola.org/ for more info on this amazing creature!
For more information visit zoewilliams.com/
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