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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, Winging It, Print

Zena Blackwell

Winging It, 2020
11.8 x 8.3 x 0 inch
Print

$80

Our recommendations Zena Blackwell, Socially Distanced # 1, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Socially Distanced # 1, 2020
17.7 x 13.8 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$2,114

Zena Blackwell, They Were Dreaming of Penscynor, Painting

Zena Blackwell

They Were Dreaming of Penscynor, 2020
26 x 53.1 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$5,685

Zena Blackwell, 2020 #3, Painting

Zena Blackwell

2020 #3, 2020
43.3 x 31.5 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$4,081

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

Zena Blackwell

Wait, want, wall, 2018
30 x 24 x 2 inch
Painting

$2,711

Zena Blackwell, What's new buttercup?, Painting

Zena Blackwell

What's new buttercup?, 2021
9.8 x 10.2 x 0.2 inch
Painting

$292

Zena Blackwell, interior, boards, finger, Painting

Zena Blackwell

interior, boards, finger, 2017
23.6 x 23.6 x 0.4 inch
Painting

$1,895

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

Zena Blackwell

Untitled (plants, bodies, child), 2017
19.5 x 16 x 0 inch
Painting

$2,186

Zena Blackwell, paint, shift, varnish, Painting

Zena Blackwell

paint, shift, varnish, 2018
17.7 x 13.8 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$1,749

Zena Blackwell, Untitled (baby koi carp), Print

Zena Blackwell

Untitled (baby koi carp), 2020
11.8 x 11.8 x 0 inch
Print

$109

Zena Blackwell, Loose adventure, Print

Zena Blackwell

Loose adventure, 2020
16.5 x 11.8 x 0 inch
Print

$138

Zena Blackwell, Magdalena, Print

Zena Blackwell

Magdalena, 2020
16.5 x 11.8 x 0 inch
Print

$138

Zena Blackwell, Putto Loves Billy, Print

Zena Blackwell

Putto Loves Billy, 2020
11.8 x 11.8 x 0 inch
Print

$109

Zena Blackwell, 2020 #5, Painting

Zena Blackwell

2020 #5, 2020
17.7 x 13.8 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$2,186

Zena Blackwell, Mom, beige, brain, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Mom, beige, brain, 2018
15.7 x 11.8 x 1 inch
Painting

$1,749

Zena Blackwell, Faux Faux, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Faux Faux, 2020
15.7 x 11.8 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$1,370

Zena Blackwell, Cube, square, control, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Cube, square, control, 2018
43.3 x 31.5 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$4,081

Zena Blackwell, Survived, salad, slick, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Survived, salad, slick, 2019
15 x 11.8 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$2,041

Zena Blackwell, They Were in Llandudno, Painting

Zena Blackwell

They Were in Llandudno, 2020
39.4 x 53.1 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$5,102

Zena Blackwell, Japanese Forest 2, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Japanese Forest 2, 2020
11.8 x 15.7 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$1,370

Zena Blackwell, Synthetic, dot, melt, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Synthetic, dot, melt, 2018
29.9 x 24 x 2 inch
Painting

$2,624

Zena Blackwell, Fibre, back, plastic, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Fibre, back, plastic, 2019
53.1 x 39.4 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$5,830

Zena Blackwell, Japanese Forest, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Japanese Forest, 2020
23.6 x 23.6 x 0.2 inch
Painting

$2,624

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

Zena Blackwell

Swing it move it shake it make it, 2019
23.6 x 23.6 x 0.4 inch
Painting

$1,669

Zena Blackwell, Untitled (Angel), Print

Zena Blackwell

Untitled (Angel), 2019
11.8 x 11.8 x 0 inch
Print

$109

Zena Blackwell, Leaf, line, duo, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Leaf, line, duo, 2018
72.8 x 66.9 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$7,288

Zena Blackwell, No, rose, leaf, Painting

Zena Blackwell

No, rose, leaf, 2018
17.7 x 13.8 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$2,186

Zena Blackwell, Wrists, pink, block, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Wrists, pink, block, 2000
29.9 x 24 x 2 inch
Painting

$2,711

Zena Blackwell, 2020 #1, Painting

Zena Blackwell

2020 #1, 2020
19.7 x 25.6 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$2,624

Zena Blackwell, I'm Hungry, Painting

Zena Blackwell

I'm Hungry, 2020
11.8 x 15.7 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$1,370

Zena Blackwell, Rug, flap, stuck, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Rug, flap, stuck, 2018
39.4 x 29.9 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$3,571

Zena Blackwell, I Didn't Know, Painting

Zena Blackwell

I Didn't Know, 2020
9.8 x 9.4 x 0.4 inch
Painting

$583

Zena Blackwell, Untitled (Constance), Painting

Zena Blackwell

Untitled (Constance), 2020
53.1 x 26 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$5,102

Zena Blackwell, Embody, reflect, ruby, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Embody, reflect, ruby, 2019
15 x 12 x 1 inch
Painting

$2,274

Zena Blackwell, 2020 #4, Painting

Zena Blackwell

2020 #4, 2020
25.6 x 19.7 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$3,207

Zena Blackwell, Untitled, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Untitled, 2020
49.2 x 23.6 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$4,373

Zena Blackwell, Floral, fluff, flow, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Floral, fluff, flow, 2018
25.6 x 19.7 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$3,207

Zena Blackwell, Cotton, perpetuate, shine, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Cotton, perpetuate, shine, 2018
25.6 x 19.7 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$3,061

Zena Blackwell, 2020 #2, Painting

Zena Blackwell

2020 #2, 2020
17.7 x 13.8 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$2,624

Zena Blackwell, Making Do, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Making Do, 2020
15.7 x 15.7 x 2.4 inch
Painting

$2,624

Zena Blackwell, It Could Not Have Been Me, Painting

Zena Blackwell

It Could Not Have Been Me, 2020
53.1 x 39.4 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$6,268

Zena Blackwell, Pause, love, paisley, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Pause, love, paisley, 2018
25.6 x 19.7 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$3,061

Zena Blackwell, Socially Distanced #2, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Socially Distanced #2, 2020
32.3 x 23.6 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$3,280

Zena Blackwell, Faces, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Faces, 2017
27.6 x 37.4 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$3,775

Zena Blackwell, Circle, Square, Triangle, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Circle, Square, Triangle, 2018
15.7 x 12.2 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$2,186

Zena Blackwell, Putto study, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Putto study, 2020
9.8 x 9.8 x 0.3 inch
Painting

$364

Zena Blackwell, Hide, grow, breathe, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Hide, grow, breathe, 2018
43.3 x 31.5 x 1.4 inch
Painting

Sold out

Zena Blackwell, Grampa, Knees, Cherub, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Grampa, Knees, Cherub, 2018
43.3 x 31.5 x 1.4 inch
Painting

Sold out

Zena Blackwell, Blinker, Babe, Bubble, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Blinker, Babe, Bubble, 2019
70.9 x 56.7 x 1.4 inch
Painting

Sold out

Zena Blackwell, Siblings, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Siblings, 2019
11.8 x 11.8 x 0.3 inch
Painting

Sold out

Zena Blackwell, Expensive, stick, lobe, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Expensive, stick, lobe, 2018
25.6 x 19.7 x 1.4 inch
Painting

$2,507

Zena Blackwell, Plastic, lace, up, Painting

Zena Blackwell

Plastic, lace, up, 2018
17.7 x 13.8 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$2,624

Zena Blackwell, Untitled (Self-Portrait), Painting

Zena Blackwell

Untitled (Self-Portrait), 2017
17.7 x 13.8 x 1 inch
Painting

Sold out

Zena Blackwell doesn’t have any exhibitions.

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