Zoe Marsh

Winner of the Ashbourne Art Festival Prize 2017!

My interest in materials grew from a creative family background. Mum loved to sew when I was young and she bought metres of multicoloured and textured fabric which filled our loft. I use some of these fabrics in my work. Dad has a great interest in wood and both parents encouraged me to be inventive with materials from an early age.  

During ten years teaching Art and Design, I inherited a  department with a kiln and ceramic technician. This is where my ceramic journey began. I had little time or energy left for my own work so inspiration was channelled through my students, whilst my mind was running riot with creative ideas. When I gave up teaching to focus upon raising a family, I met Peter Wood of Royce Wood tiles. He taught me the basics of ceramic tile making and encouraged my interest in combining tiles and textiles. I now have the opportunity to explore some of those creative ideas independently…

My work is textile in spirit. Using both traditional and digital techniques I decorate the surface of my handmade tiles with a combination of my own drawings, textile samples, found papers and glazes, often adding wire, fabric or thread to my work for a contrast in surface texture. I now live near Wirksworth, where the stunning views inspire me on a daily basis. I use the local landscape as a starting point, often combining or contrasting it with my own emotional and abstract responses to everyday experiences. A degree in Art History informs my work, with artists as diverse as Giacometti, Hockney and Hundertwasser sometimes subconsciously inspiring my approach.