Zoe Hawk
Artist Statement
My paintings delve into the world of adolescence, depicting clusters of young women in natural, domestic, and institutional settings. Themes of self-identification, anxiety, group dynamics, and performance are addressed within scenes of girlhood play and interactions, often stylistically referencing children’s storybook illustrations.

These constructed scenarios are meant to be sweet and somewhat familiar to the viewer, yet upon closer inspection they take a slightly strange or unsettling turn. Sometimes conveying tender innocence, other times confronting violence and fear, the paintings describe not only the wonders of childhood, but also the curious and often tumultuous process of coming of age. The costumes, bright patterned dresses, mournful funeral garb, and matching uniforms signify various modes of feminine identity, and set the stage for the girls’ interactions. Within these vignettes there develops an intricate play of yearning, contention, camaraderie, and mischief, as the characters navigate their social and physical environments.