One foot in the conceptual, one foot in the visual and one foot in the everything in-between.

My name's Zoe Kirsty Louise Toolan because one middle name is the loneliest number and three is magic. 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 - an only child to a young single parent who lived with her parents - and I now live in Brighton.

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.

My practice is undoubtedly fuelled by my much-unknown origin story and the even more fucky bits I do know...

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 live, 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 centring around social live art practises that bring people together for fun and chats leading to meaningful connections. And conversely, the lack of this: loss and the links between independence and loneliness is a constant presence.

I'm also intrigued by our relationships towards objects and how and why an item becomes a treasured possession.

 

And drawing, always drawing, which I believe is a philosophy as well as a practice; the key to making sense of you, us and it.

Wrapping all this up is education: as an educator and learner 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 through alternative education.

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ZKLT

Artist