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Zena Blackwell

United Kingdom Born in: 1977

'The domestic setting is beautiful, still, and a touch awkward.' 
- Sacha Craddock (art critic, writer, curator)

Zena Blackwell's awarding-winning paintings and drawings investigate the chaos, humour, beauty and dark days of motherhood. Her work derives from the constant observation of her two children at play, at rest, or caught unawares in various typical childhood situations. Blackwell scrutinises the wide-ranging spectrum of heightened emotions experienced in motherhood and this can manifest in works that are beautiful and  whimsical but also slightly ominous. Blackwell's paintings have been described as being 'psychologically charged'.

 

Zena Blackwell is a painter based in Cardiff, Wales, UK. She obtained her Masters in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, London, and degree at Wimbledon School of Art, London. Returning to painting in 2016 following a break from the medium (during which time she explored sculpture, collage, performance and installation), she won first prize at the Cardiff MADE Summer Exhibition in 2017, presenting her first solo show consisting of over 30 paintings and drawings there the year after. The exhibition, 'Seen Not Heard', for which she was awarded a £5k production grant from the Arts Council of Wales, was included in a weekly list of the top 5 UK exhibitions by a-n (The Artists Information Company) and Wales Arts Review included it in a top 10 list of the best Welsh Visual Arts for 2018. In 2019 she won 3rd prize at 'PAINT', an open painting prize at PS Mirabel in Manchester. Zena was selected for the National Eisteddfod in 2018 and 19, and has exhibited widely. Zena founded the instagram blog Contemporary Cymru in 2017 and between 2003-2011, she co-founded a critically acclaimed live music event in London and also DJed nationally and internationally. 

CV

Education
MA Fine Art Central Saint Martins, London, UK
BA Fine Art (hons) Wimbledon College of Art, London, UK


 

Awards and Grants
2020
Arts Council of Wales £10,000 awarded to Contemporary Cymru for HOUSEHOLD NAME
Arts Council of England £3,800 awarded to Contemporary Cymru for HOUSEHOLD NAME 

2019
3rd prize PAINT at PS Mirabel, Manchester
2018
£5,000 Arts Council of Wales Grant
2017
1st prize Cardiff MADE Summer Open


Exhibitions
2020
*Household Name: Group show curated by Contemporary Cymru at:
The Bomb Factory, London (Postponed due to Covid-19, date tbc and Elysium Gallery, Swansea, Postponed from May 2020 to April 2021)

Coming Up For Air - Oriel Canfas, Cardiff  (part of BEEP Biennial) 

Telling Tales  (Three person show with Lara Davies and Rhiannon Davies) - Bay Art, Cardiff 

Arcade Studio Exhibition at Arcade Campfa, Cardiff 

A View From The Edge : Contemporary Landscape in the Digital Age, Cardiff MADE

2019
Cardiff MADE Winter Show
AGORED19 at Galeri, Caernarfon
Present X Correct showcase by Contemporary Cymru at Corsica Studios, London
Y Lle Celf at The Eisteddfod, Llanrwst
PAINT at PS Mirabel, Manchester (awarded 3rd prize)
Empower Me! at g39, Cardiff
Arcade Studios at Bath Fringe Arts Festival, Bath
Tactile Bosch in Japan, Korea and Taiwan
The Mutterscream: Crepuscular Lush, Jacob's Market, Cardiff
Viridis: Spring Show at Cardiff MADE

2018
Winter Show: Cardiff MADE
CSAD Auction at g39, Cardiff
Seen Not Heard: Solo Exhibition at Cardiff MADE, Cardiff
Made in Roath Open at g39, Cardiff
Y lle Celf, The Eisteddfod, Senedd, Cardiff
Filia (feminist conference in Manchester. Exhibition traveled to Sao Paulo, Brazil)

2017
Ankle Biters at Made in Roath, Cardiff
MADE Summer Open Exhibition, Cardiff, curated by Zoe Gingell (won 1st Prize)

2016
'Domestic Bliss' at Made in Roath, Cardiff

2012
'ArtLabBern' Switzerland: My Beautiful Son project, Bern, Switzerland
Clit Rock' My film Pleasure Max was shown at this regular anti-FGM event, London

2011
Central Saint Martins MA Degree show, London
New Pretenders' Bargehouse, London (Interim MA degree show)

Pre-2010
Selected works at The Glass Bar, London
'Slap & Tickle' at The Yard Bar, London (curated)
Wimbledon Library group show

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Zena Blackwell, Child, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Child, 2021
20 x 20 x 0.6 cm
Painting

$579

Zena Blackwell, Winging It, Print

Zena Blackwell

Winging It, 2020
30 x 21 x 0.1 cm
Print

$68 $80

Zena Blackwell, They Were Dreaming of Penscynor, Painting

Zena Blackwell

They Were Dreaming of Penscynor, 2020
66 x 135 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$5,648

Our recommendations Zena Blackwell, Socially Distanced # 1, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Socially Distanced # 1, 2020
45 x 35 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$2,100

Zena Blackwell, 2020 #3, Painting

Zena Blackwell

2020 #3, 2020
110 x 80 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$4,055

Our recommendations Zena Blackwell, Wait, want, wall, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Wait, want, wall, 2018
76.2 x 61 x 5 cm
Painting

$2,694

Zena Blackwell, interior, boards, finger, Painting

Zena Blackwell

interior, boards, finger, 2017
60 x 60 x 0.9 cm
Painting

$1,883

Zena Blackwell, Untitled (plants, bodies, child), Painting

Zena Blackwell

Untitled (plants, bodies, child), 2017
49.5 x 40.6 x 0.1 cm
Painting

$2,172

Zena Blackwell, paint, shift, varnish, Painting

Zena Blackwell

paint, shift, varnish, 2018
45 x 35 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$1,738

Zena Blackwell, Untitled (baby koi carp), Print

Zena Blackwell

Untitled (baby koi carp), 2020
30 x 30 x 0.1 cm
Print

$93 $109

Zena Blackwell, Loose adventure, Print

Zena Blackwell

Loose adventure, 2020
42 x 30 x 0.1 cm
Print

$117 $138

Zena Blackwell, Magdalena, Print

Zena Blackwell

Magdalena, 2020
42 x 30 x 0.1 cm
Print

$117 $138

Zena Blackwell, Putto Loves Billy, Print

Zena Blackwell

Putto Loves Billy, 2020
30 x 30 x 0.02 cm
Print

$93 $109

Zena Blackwell, 2020 #5, Painting

Zena Blackwell

2020 #5, 2020
45 x 35 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$2,172

Zena Blackwell, Mom, beige, brain, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Mom, beige, brain, 2018
40 x 30 x 2.5 cm
Painting

$1,738

Zena Blackwell, Faux Faux, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Faux Faux, 2020
40 x 30 x 2 cm
Painting

$1,361

Zena Blackwell, Cube, square, control, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Cube, square, control, 2018
110 x 80 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$4,055

Zena Blackwell, Survived, salad, slick, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Survived, salad, slick, 2019
38 x 30 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$2,028

Zena Blackwell, They Were in Llandudno, Painting

Zena Blackwell

They Were in Llandudno, 2020
100 x 135 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$5,069

Zena Blackwell, Japanese Forest 2, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Japanese Forest 2, 2020
30 x 40 x 2 cm
Painting

$1,361

Zena Blackwell, Synthetic, dot, melt, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Synthetic, dot, melt, 2018
76 x 61 x 5 cm
Painting

$2,607

Zena Blackwell, Fibre, back, plastic, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Fibre, back, plastic, 2019
135 x 100 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$5,793

Zena Blackwell, Japanese Forest, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Japanese Forest, 2020
60 x 60 x 0.5 cm
Painting

$2,607

Zena Blackwell, Swing it move it shake it make it, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Swing it move it shake it make it, 2019
60 x 60 x 1 cm
Painting

$1,658

Zena Blackwell, Untitled (Angel), Print

Zena Blackwell

Untitled (Angel), 2019
30 x 30 x 0.1 cm
Print

$93 $109

Zena Blackwell, Leaf, line, duo, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Leaf, line, duo, 2018
185 x 170 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$7,241

Zena Blackwell, No, rose, leaf, Painting

Zena Blackwell

No, rose, leaf, 2018
45 x 35 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$2,172

Zena Blackwell, Wrists, pink, block, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Wrists, pink, block, 2000
76 x 61 x 5 cm
Painting

$2,694

Zena Blackwell, 2020 #1, Painting

Zena Blackwell

2020 #1, 2020
50 x 65 x 3 cm
Painting

$2,607

Zena Blackwell, I'm Hungry, Painting

Zena Blackwell

I'm Hungry, 2020
30 x 40 x 2 cm
Painting

$1,361

Zena Blackwell, Rug, flap, stuck, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Rug, flap, stuck, 2018
100 x 76 x 3 cm
Painting

$3,548

Zena Blackwell, I Didn't Know, Painting

Zena Blackwell

I Didn't Know, 2020
25 x 24 x 1 cm
Painting

$579

Zena Blackwell, Untitled (Constance), Painting

Zena Blackwell

Untitled (Constance), 2020
135 x 66 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$5,069

Zena Blackwell, Embody, reflect, ruby, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Embody, reflect, ruby, 2019
38 x 30.5 x 2.5 cm
Painting

$2,259

Zena Blackwell, 2020 #4, Painting

Zena Blackwell

2020 #4, 2020
65 x 50 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$3,186

Zena Blackwell, Untitled, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Untitled, 2020
125 x 60 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$4,345

Zena Blackwell, Floral, fluff, flow, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Floral, fluff, flow, 2018
65 x 50 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$3,186

Zena Blackwell, Cotton, perpetuate, shine, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Cotton, perpetuate, shine, 2018
65 x 50 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$3,041

Zena Blackwell, 2020 #2, Painting

Zena Blackwell

2020 #2, 2020
45 x 35 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$2,607

Zena Blackwell, Making Do, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Making Do, 2020
40 x 40 x 6 cm
Painting

$2,607

Zena Blackwell, It Could Not Have Been Me, Painting

Zena Blackwell

It Could Not Have Been Me, 2020
135 x 100 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$6,227

Zena Blackwell, Pause, love, paisley, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Pause, love, paisley, 2018
65 x 50 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$3,041

Zena Blackwell, Socially Distanced #2, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Socially Distanced #2, 2020
82 x 60 x 2 cm
Painting

$3,259

Zena Blackwell, Faces, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Faces, 2017
70 x 95 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$3,751

Zena Blackwell, Circle, Square, Triangle, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Circle, Square, Triangle, 2018
40 x 31 x 2 cm
Painting

$2,172

Zena Blackwell, Beamo, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Beamo, 2019
50 x 45 x 1.5 cm
Painting

Sold

Zena Blackwell, Meadow, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Meadow, 2021
25 x 25 x 0.8 cm
Painting

Sold

Zena Blackwell, What's new buttercup?, Painting

Zena Blackwell

What's new buttercup?, 2021
25 x 26 x 0.6 cm
Painting

Sold

Zena Blackwell, Putto study, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Putto study, 2020
25 x 25 x 0.7 cm
Painting

$362

Zena Blackwell, Hide, grow, breathe, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Hide, grow, breathe, 2018
110 x 80 x 3.5 cm
Painting

Sold

Zena Blackwell, Grampa, Knees, Cherub, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Grampa, Knees, Cherub, 2018
110 x 80 x 3.5 cm
Painting

Sold

Zena Blackwell, Blinker, Babe, Bubble, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Blinker, Babe, Bubble, 2019
180 x 144 x 3.5 cm
Painting

Sold

Zena Blackwell, Siblings, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Siblings, 2019
30 x 30 x 0.8 cm
Painting

Sold

Zena Blackwell, Expensive, stick, lobe, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Expensive, stick, lobe, 2018
65 x 50 x 3.5 cm
Painting

$2,491

Zena Blackwell, Plastic, lace, up, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Plastic, lace, up, 2018
45 x 35 x 2 cm
Painting

$2,607

Zena Blackwell, Untitled (Self-Portrait), Painting

Zena Blackwell

Untitled (Self-Portrait), 2017
45 x 35 x 2.5 cm
Painting

Sold

Zena Blackwell doesn’t have any exhibitions.

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