Zoe Akroyd Parker
I am originally from Halifax, Yorkshire but have been living in Croydon since 2003. I completed an HND in Textile Design at the University of Derby in 1989 and an Honours Degree in Textile Design at the University of East London in 2003.
I moved to London in 1989, with the intention of becoming a fashion illustrator for various publications, but real-life got in the way and I worked in a variety of “odd-jobs” before training to become an art teacher. I have been the Head of Art and Design at Centre Academy in Battersea since 2000.
In the summer of 2015, I visited Ethiopia, which had a massive influence on the way that I work and my outlook on the world. I was very much inspired by the power and beauty of the tribeswomen that I met. I was overwhelmed by their strength and confidence in spite of the adverse conditions in which they live.
When I returned to the UK I began to work on a series of drawings of the tribeswomen and their surroundings. I use charcoal and newsprint because I want to use the kind of simple materials that would be available to me if I lived in a tribal village. Similarly, with the paintings that I have begun to create, I paint onto reclaimed surfaces.
My aim now is to exhibit my work as much as possible.
The Croydon Art Society, Croydon Clocktower: April 19th- May 7th 2016
The Goldsmith Pub and Dining Room, London Bridge: June 1st 2016
The Africa Centre, Great Suffolk Street, London SE1: 2016 (date tbc)