Zoe Akroyd Parker
I am an artist -originally from Yorkshire, but I have been living in London for most of my life.
I am the Head of Art and Design at a school for children with special needs, in South London. I have one son and two cats.
I first visited Ethiopia in the summer of 2015 , which had a massive influence on the way that I work and my outlook on the world.
I was very 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 used charcoal and newsprint because I wanted to use the kind of simple materials that would be available to me if I lived in a tribal village.
I wanted to capture the resourcefulness and creativity of the tribeswomen- which is shown in the clothes that they wear and the way they carry themselves.
Some aspects of the women's lives and culture are very difficult for a westerner to comprehend- particularly the way their bodies bear scars from the heavy loads they have to carry, the hard physical work they do every day and the marks inflicted upon them during ceremonial acts.
Witnessing this, being a part of their lives for just a short time, has made me feel even more grateful for the opportunities that I have; to live the way that I do.
I returned to Ethiopia in the summer of 2016 and again at the start of 2017; on these visits I collected more photographs, studies and inspiration and began to add a little more colour to my work.
I regularly show my work in exhibitions and I also host workshops, please follow my website or subscribe to my newsletter to keep updated!
Please check out my events page for details of upcoming workshops and exhibitions