Zoe Catherine Kendall, artist, writer and human...

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

From two heads to tee shirts

This was an experiment to be tried out on my trendy younger brother, who also happens to be a deejay, always room for a super cliche. More to come as it worked out pretty well. It's hand painted, and i intend to do a series of hand painted designs. Each illustration comes from a piece of my art work. £48 a pop. Each one will be individual, never repeated, and made especially to order. Wear it, frame it, hang it up next to a cool poster. Get those orders in, mates rates apply ;-) zoe@zoekendall.com

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

You again...

(Above: Don't recall you face today, pen on paper, by Zoe Catherine Kendall, 2010, run-riot.com)

This is a free-form text directed at a universal concept of 'you.' Perhaps each of you have your own such 'you' – a notion of relation to another energy form that you find it more or less difficult to define. On the surface it might be your lover or ex lover, on a deeper level, it could be a more spiritual, parental, playful or otherwise unknown presence.

If we are lucky, there may come a time when we can shirk such limiting bases for relationships, and start afresh...

Oh Dear -
it's you again, haunting the days and nights that have passed since your last appearance. I wonder if I can I write about you? No wait – I should write about letting you go... what a happy thought! I am unsure of how much justice my words will give to such a liberating prospect, but I will persevere.. With a letter and a verse, having already reeled you in, and having reeled myself in too, I will try to explain how I will let you go – splash! What a thought...

All these stories circulating around my head, narratives of life, love and something else. Sitting here, some place like this bed, swamped in my own carefully crafted detachment, I have been silently swallowing my tongue. Well I shall swallow no more...

You - (deep breath in)  I don't know who or where (deep breath out), and me here, playing with life. There have been many faces, some more distinctive than others, I will say that. A girl asked 'and what of your experiences of love?' - and I couldn't answer. Love (disbelievingly)? I never thought I’d doubt it, lose the confidence I had in my youthful endeavours...

So I, watching on, see the world passing by. Little interjections define my position in the storm; voices, laughter, tears. You are so many faces, eyes in the back of strangers heads as I navigate these streets around you. But even with a map, your coordinates cannot be pinpointed. It's as though you have become the stuff of legend.

That's okay I think, sitting here musing. Who were you anyway and what did you stand for? I look to my feet, purposeful, ready to jump up and I think - these catalysts of movement, extending up the legs to the hip, these knees, arms, fingers and this chest, these are moving me now, keeping me living regardless of any presence or absence on your behalf.. 

I without you here.

I, here
without of the realms of you,
you who are not here
not with me,
also without.

We are both without. (text continued below image)

(Above: Sights set on, pen on paper, by Zoe Catherine Kendall, 2010, run-riot.com)

So what of the thoughts occupying a brain? Can they be detached from any kind of emotion?  Are these feelings nostalgia for a previous neural pathway?  Oh I do long for those old peptides, they used to put a spring in my step.  Now I am redefining these pathways, so far no emotions have been set. I am lost in the present, having let go of the past, journeying through the current time.

Consciousness exacerbated, curated and retold; through this process I might come to unite with...?? For conventions sake I hope they are human. I wonder if they will still embody you. You have been following me around for so many years now, I guess I would miss you, though I still can't put my finger on what it is that (pause) you are...

Attached to air and thought all these years, I have been attached to a transient dream. If I choose a temple, you know they say the body is a temple, well I prefer to think of it as a vessel, so if I choose a vessel for you, some place near this bed of mine, somewhere to house your spirit within, well what then?

What's that? You don't want me to leave you behind as I begin on this journey to realign my neural coordinates? You won't exist without me? But I have been chasing you for so long now, and I am tired of these games we play, you cropping up in various guises like Doctor Who, suffering multiple regenerations... and multiple personalities. I don't want to do it to you any more, try and define the undefinable.

You will be a legend (whose impact will be forgotten with time). I will sing to the high hills about you, the unnamed spirit, the celestial man. I will retell the stories of our ethereal palace, a seldom frequented place of expectation met, and expectation unmet. That, I will tell those hills, was the single most defining point of our relationship. We knew how to thrill each other, we knew how to love, and yes, we knew to include the heartache and the loss, as these were the emotions that excited us the most. (Continued below image)

(Above: Happy when you smiled at me, pen on paper, by Zoe Catherine Kendall, 2010, run-riot.com)

I shall tell this story, and with each retelling, it shall loose its significance. And then, overtime,   I will finally let you go - poof! Up and away... to meet your fore fathers, those mythical beasts of the patriarch, protagonists of the betrothed, the married, and the illicitly conceived... boy they taught us how not to engage, decreeing the sanctity of ownership over love.

'With this ring I thee wed'. With this ring, let our love be dead!

Oh but no, I am being an awful pessimist, I do wholeheartedly believe that marriage helps the best and worst of us to get through the years, though they be years of loneliness, bitterness and discontent.. dreams fallen by the wayside as we take on our defining roles as husband and wifery.

I don't want to do that to you – the ethereal has always been so much more liberating. And now, after all our transient encounters, and with marriage an all too real prospect, I have gathered the strength to let you go so you may transcend all of those ungodly ties, and as I promised I will loose all my expectations of you, and we will both be free at last... It's an idea I’ve had anyway. Marriage seems such an old school convention, I almost want to reinvent it, with a whole new system of vows, a whole new significance to it.

So now then, can we all finally be happy by ourselves? Wouldn't it be nice. I know there is this little issue of continuing the human race, but isn't that just the burden of our generation?! Gosh, a life time of reproduction and raising doesn’t thrill too much. If only there were another way...

Humour aside, it would be refreshing to see modes of thought change and adapt in reaction to social convention. The potential for this kind of thinking arises when we start asking questions such as why, what for and how best – in relation to concepts of living. Is this the best way to lead my life? Am I making a happy world for my yet unborn offspring? Is there another way to coexist and copulate in harmony? Perhaps the eternal attachment to a thought construct such as 'you' is utterly necessary – and it could only be a life long commitment to that line of enquiry that might fathom any kind of answer. A quest for each and every one of us perhaps-

On that note, thank goodness for these moments when we loose each other, single in our twenties, thirties and beyond, lets give thanks to being somehow free of a defining purpose... we can really live now, without the heartache we can really dream...

For more artistic deviations in image and word visit my blog run-riot.com

(Above: Beautifully in the light, pen on paper, by Zoe Catherine Kendall, 2010, run-riot.com)

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The inside out; a painting

You could call it some kind of comment on existence; wearing the inside out and taking the outside in.

A little play on words and imagery, something i have been engaged with recently.

(acrylic paint on acrylic paper, 2010)

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Sabotage Reviews of the Ephemeral

December gives us an independent review of the Lazy Gramaphone Arts Collective including the writings of one very talented author Sam Rawlings and an urging finger point towards interdisciplinary artist and writer Zoe Catherine Kendall (yes that's me) who combines image and written word in her practice.

Thanks Ian Chung, writing for sabotagereviews.com

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Lazy Gramaphone

I've joined forces with Lazy Gramaphone writers' and artists' collective. See my profile and artwork and read my words here:


Monday, 22 November 2010

To be destroyed: short film of an art intervention i took part in

Film footage of 'To be destroyed' - an art intervention that took place in a ten floor office block in soho square before it was gutted, including a snippet of my performance installation piece. Yes that's me in the checked levi shirt and red feet... enjoy.

Film by Alan Rae.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Radio Interview on illfm.net

I was interviewed about my writing and art practise by Ryan Walkinshaw, co-presenter of radio show Down the nile backwards, featured on Illfm.net, alongside Robots in Disguise and a whole lot of other antics, earlier this year...

Listen to the show here

Download it here, you'll find me about 54 minutes in!!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Zoe's Place Un-birthday launch event

It was a wonderful evening, with a diverse group of selected guests bringing varied creative approaches to our stage, wall and bench. Thanks to everyone for bringing all the yummy food and alcohol, and for partipating in such wonderful ways. We salute you! A special thanks to Rolled Up deejays for the music, Louise Hanson for the un-birthday cup cakes, Todd Hart for the polaroids, and Gedvile Bunikyte, co-organiser.

Guests on the night and their particapation:

Gedvile Bunikyte - introduction to the proceedings
Zoe Catherine Kendall - short film screening
Sohrab Golsorkhi-Ainslie - read passages from two novels, on the subject of birthday and party.
Natashka Moreau - performance
Todd Hart - polaroidal zone
Olivia Hegarty - a presense and readiness to respond
Waldemar Prancekiwiez - text and illustration
Arvydas Umbrasas - fashion illustrations
Babak Jalali - Frontier Blues trailer screening
Christian Nyampeta - short film screening
Gideon Cube-Sherman - intervention/performance
Laurence Kendall aka Rolled Up Deejays - decks
Victoria Andrejeva - party games
Louise Hanson - un-birthday cakes

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Externalisation of consciousness in a living space, soho square ten floor FA HQ office block project

At very short notice a group of artists made their presense known in what was the Football Assosciation HQ in Soho Square. The building was to be gutted, and so we were given free reign to use the space for a night time art event last thursday 4th november 2010. Visitors kept arriving to see what was going on in the enormous and empty ten floor office block, getting a unique chance to explore ten floors of installations, interventions, projections and live art. There was a bar serving free booze, only i'm not sure just how repellant the visitors expected it to be (it was deliberately terrifying, with beer and wine served from water coolers, and loud annoying sounds and blindling lights). Guests gathered on the seventh floor terrace to trace their foot steps over a giant mozaic and admire the view over Centre Point.

My installation was on floor three, alongside the primal scream sound-proofed screaming box. For two days prior to the event i had been busying externalising my consciousness onto the fabric of a room, and was there performing the very same activity on the night as guests looked on.

Photograph by Waldemar Pranckiewicz

Photograph by Waldemar Pranckiewicz

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Live Art at Streetfest October 2010

I painted alongside graffiti artist Andy Seize amongst other artists for Streetfest 2010 at the old brewery warehouse on Commercial Road whilst the warehouse party-goers looked on with intrigue. Rickford Compton kindly came down to photograph the art as it happened...  with thanks to Ricky and Seize!

Guerilla Art Events

Back in those heady days of summer 2010, an artist who prefers to keep her identity a secret and I hosted a joint exhibition at my old house in clapton. We took over the walls, stairs, furniture, shoes, kitchen appliances and clothes horse to emphasis our ideas about the process of making art as being an inseperable part of the living process, and vice versa. Visitors were served tea in broken and mended tea cups as an opportunity to consider the nature of relationships, broken and mended, and had poems written for them by my secret cohort. Photographs, spontaneous drawings, paintings, objects and poems scattered the rooms, as well as an installation of found objects (genuine medical implements c.1960) alongside a poem addressing psychotherapy.

Rolled Up Deejays beat rhythms into the night as guests navigated the two story hackney home. This was the first of a series of guerilla art events, bringing art events into the home and studio.

Below: How I feel about psychotherapy (necessary but intrusive, empowering yet painful surgery on the mind), ZCK, 2010.


Below: Representations of a broken object (what does it mean, how should we act), ZCK, 2010.


Below: Under pressure (a loss of purpose or functionality due to circumstances of existence such as neglect, lack of care or abuse, and a comment on the fragility of people and things), ZCK, 2010.


Below: Seeing the detail, seeing the whole meaning (such-ness, object as everything and nothing, the truth of existence), ZCK, 2010.


Below: Used, abused and worn-out (evidence of living, clues to a story), ZCK, 2010.


Below: Lost in translation (Objects, meanings and messages), ZCK, 2010. 

Sunday, 31 October 2010

ten floors of an empty office block: artists take over

Come and see a show i am taking part on thursday 4th november 2010, in soho square...

The building will be open for guests to explore all ten floors, to find the art installations and interventions, the sounds, music and projections (and the booze) as they attempt to navigate its maze like floor plan. There is a free bar so come down early to get maximum benefit!

The externalisation of consciousness in a living space.

My artwork for ten floor project will take the form of an installation piece
somewhere in the building, where i have been busy externalising
consciousness onto the fabric of a room, and i will be there performing some
live art as part of this installation piece on the night itself.

After the show, the building is going to be gutted.

Come along, bring friends, let's play while we still can!

Un-birthday launch party at my studio?

This week the eagerly awaited guest list only launch event is taking place at Zoe's Place (my place) and the theme has been set - un-birthday? As a specially selected group, we will be celebrating our collective existence and collective creativity on any nominated day..

This launch represents the beginning of lots more collective creativity based at Zoe's Place (my place) brought to you from Gedvile Bunikyte and myself.

I mean business with these playing cards

We all love business cards and many of us need them. I have been experimenting with some new ones recently.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

My sex (and yours)...

(Right: Vulnerability by Zoe Catherine Kendall, ink on paper, 2009, www.self-series.blogspot.com)

My sex

An image of vulnerability in the graphic representation of female sexual organs. These are not meant as a representation of desire, but rather as a depiction of a feeling, perhaps what it means to be a woman.

Every woman must have a relationship to her vagina, biology demands it, but what about her psychological relationship towards it?

Sometimes I want to celebrate my womanhood, embrace carnal desire in all its intoxicating glory, dream of cock and masturbate. I hasten to add that these are not perverted activities, much less so then tying yourself up in the bondage of strict religious belief. (This is just an opinion; one that shouts out the righteousness of sexual freedom over that of an uptight, hypocritical 'puritan' approach. The body is pure, and the body is definitely something to belief in.)

In the same vane, I belief there is a strong relationship between our minds and our sexual organs, and that how we may be feeling psychologically may dictate our sexual urges and the form of our sexual play (that could be a whole other story...)

So here is something that I hope other women may be able to empathise with, and something I am feeling more and more as a single woman: men want to fuck (not exactly rocket science). This desire for intercourse is not necessarily a negative aspect of the male character, nor is it unique to them, women like having sex too, but I think as sexual creatures, we women behave quite differently – that perhaps being the key to the male-female dynamic. The detail that seems to me to differentiate the two is that where women would aspire to sex as part of something more, men might not know what more they want..

Scenario: if you meet a guy in a club and get talking with them, the first thing on your mind as a woman is not necessarily sex. I am sure it features there in some form, the guise of 'innocent' attraction poorly concealing the basic biological equation of man and woman (tall and short, dark and fair) but, and its a big but, sex might not be the first thing you want to do with this person, you might fancy them, flirt outrageously, snog your heart out, but does that mean you want to go to bed with them? Should it?

Okay so I have conflicting beliefs over feminism, I want to be respected as a woman, and I want to fuck casually too. Or do I? Here is the point of confusion, here lies the contradiction of womanhood (from my humble perspective). Yes we want to copulate, yes we want to play, but so too do we want to abstain, so too do we want wait until the sex becomes part of something more. I guess it depends on what you are looking for out of a date, but I think even a substantial proportion of men would agree that endless flings and meaningless fucks are not going to satisfy us in the long term, that there is something bigger for us to aspire to, a greater harmony between the male and female of the species, a more holistic hunger in need of satiation.

So this brings me to why an image of sexual organs might not represent desire, but rather vulnerability. As a woman you want to flirt with men (not all of them, only a select few), you want to get to know them and get a bit closer, but you feel your sexuality as a vulnerable link in the chain - should you fend off attempts to 'get closer' on the first date and act saintly in the form of a pay off? Or should you go with the flow, loose yourself in your body and succumb to the moment? Will the end result be that the man takes all the power? Do you feel as though your date is interested in you in more then just a sexual context, or are you being defined by this context? Are we girls pretending we want something casual because that's what seems more acceptable to men? Does it even matter?!

Well there is the conundrum, and I'm not even going to try to provide a answer except to say girls take control, guys lose the cheesy chat up lines and bad sex talk, and lets all loose ourselves in our bodies for a moment, and later pray for a more wholesome gratification.

Is it wrong to want to cuddle?

For more mental deviations check out my blog on Run Riot

 (Above: My sex by Zoe Catherine Kendall, ink on paper, 2009)

Monday, 27 September 2010

Mental deviations persist (below the image)...

(above: Head fuck by Zoe Catherine Kendall, acrylic on acrylic paper, 2010, self-series.blogspot.com)

The present storm; deviations and meanderings...

“Everything, with significance brought to, all images as places of interest, all nominated stories and moments of living.

You are here with me. We are the same yet different.

£69 spent on the pursuit of knowledge, but that's ok, even for a pauper. I gathered 15 or so little editions for that, and I feel ready to devour them.

It's strange, I’ve been feeling tired recently, ill or maybe it's just the smoking, I don't know. All the tests show up ok, so perhaps it's just psychosomatic. I want to go home, I’m homeward bound, in search of something. I want to make tea with ritual attached and absorb these books. I know I am going to translate their meaning using the patterns of my life experiences thus far. I know it's just an interpretation, but that makes it more personal. In the book shop, I felt touched. Glimpses of a universal narrative seemed to be twitching, calling out to me. I embraced their call.

Mum was the same on the telephone, interested in commerce more so then well being. Perhaps the two are interconnected shadows, but the route is still different. I wish her route into me was less obvious, more ingenious, but then I wouldn't be me. It's ok mum, I accept you as you are. Love is something different, but the attachments at least are not in question.

That's an emotive word for me; attachment. Many people are fearing, especially those you accidentally love. There are lessons here, and non lessons, I am sure of it. Meanings, meaningless meanderings, a message still. Being apart in love is something I know of, crossed paths, echoes and stains. Non attachment has been recommended to me, but I am equally suspicious of it. The current agenda is the current, that is to say, we are living now.

So I dressed the scene, poured the tea and was anxious, it was time to begin..

The taste of the yogurt had changed after being in contact with the fruit. Its subtleties had (disappointedly) disappeared. I managed to get some on my best scarf too.

The books were very emotive; clearly I wasn't alone.

You know that moment I'm talking of, just imagine; smoking a cigarette, poignantly self reflective, looking in on yourself, feeling everything that has ever happened; to you, around you, breathing it in as if to memorise every minute detail, extracting meaning so as to place yourself within it.. you know that moment I’m talking about, well it doesn’t exist any more.

I'm holding on to everything that is holding on to me. I am remaining a coexistent, remaining in a relational field to all other things. But if I were to let go..? Let go of all those ties, just relax my grip, a bit at first, and then totally, what then? Would it matter? Would I still exist? I believe so, I think I would, but differently. Do I need to hold on, and if so, how tightly should I hold? Is it going to be a rough ride, I mean, are we talking about a risk that I could fall, drop and be lost to you? Are we talking of a real risk here? I'm not sure if the appropriate risk assessments have been carried out, I’m not completely sure if there is an answer to this just yet. I'm holding on to the cigarette, holding on for dear life, I know that much, but not much more right now.”

Discover more of my work on run-riot.com

Clambering on the shoulders of cowards

 A way of life...

We who, clambering on the shoulders of cowards, might choose to interject. 

We who, seeking a more intuitive understanding might require still more clarity for self preservation. 

We who talk, muse and create, shooting shadows of ourselves across graffiti strewn walls in cities of contradiction.

Methods riddled with coping mechanisms of old; who are you and how do we relate? I might like you but don't let me define you or i'll kill us both. Love me and i'll loose you to find you, leave me and i'll never truly know you, streaming meaning from your mere existence. You who, wavering in the light, whimper and escape me; you are not here for definitions, we are infinitely more elusive than that, casting words across landscapes of lesser resolution to unite. We are. 

(left: Getting better by Zoe Catherine Kendall, oil on canvas paper, 2010)