My name's Zoe Kirsty Louise Toolan because one middle name is the loneliest number. My surname isn't particularly hard but Zoe 'Toolman' happens on a regular basis, so a website address with my initials is just a lot easier.

I grew up in Yorkshire and currently live in Brighton, and I have one foot firmly in the conceptual, one foot in the visual, and one foot in the everything in-between.

I wear many hats (metaphorically, but also actually because I like hats) and I'm constantly questioning what an artist's role is within this awesome/painful/terrifying/hilarious/shit/beautiful/baffling world we live in.

Time confuses and scares the hell out of me, but I'm fascinated by the links between it and our understanding, and also how we spend it; 'just' by being alive, everything we know will change or disappear and because of this inevitable and irreversible shift, I place massive importance on direct experience and meaningful social interaction: time is the only currency we have. I value family (or friendship or community or inclusion or whatever name you personally call 'not feeling alone') above all else, with my work centering around social live art practises that bring people together for fun and meaningful chat. And conversely, the lack of this: loss and the links between independence and loneliness is a constant presence, undoubtedly fuelled by my unknown family history that I'm still learning to live with. I'm also fascinated by our relationships towards objects and how and why an item becomes a treasured possession. And drawing, always drawing, which I really believe is the key to making sense of you, us and it.

And wrapping all this up is education: as an educator I passionately believe that lifelong education should be accessible to all, with the working class barriers I experience(d) informing how I navigate knowledge sharing; any workshop/course I teach is a live, participatory event as well as a vital part of my practice and own continuing education. 

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ZKLT

Artist