My name is Zoe Woods, I’m a visual artist working in glass, I graduated from the University of South Australia in 2012. My work utilises the optical qualities of glass to explore patterns and forms found in nature.
The Helpmann Academy has provided invaluable funding in the early stages of my career. As a graduate, I felt honoured and encouraged to be included in the Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition. Through this, I was awarded the Adelaide City Council award, which provided funding to produce a solo show. This exhibition at the Urban Cow Studios gave me valuable hands-on experience in liaising with galleries, as well as planning, creating, installing, and promoting an exhibition.
Since then, I have received Helpmann Academy grants to produce work for exhibitions at Sabbia Gallery in Sydney and BMG gallery in Adelaide. I also received funding to help with the cost of a residency at the Canberra Glassworks, where I was able to freely explore the material and develop new ideas. Glass is a particularly expensive medium to work with, and without the support of the Helpmann academy I would have struggled to keep my head above water in those critical early years.
The Helpmann Academy has also assisted me with invaluable international opportunities. In 2016 I received funding to attend the SOFA art and design fair in Chicago, where I was represented by Kirra Galleries. This helped to elevate my work to the international stage and led to me being represented by Habatat Galleries in Florida. I have since been approached by other galleries in the US and in London, and I am excited to develop these new relationships over the coming years.
In 2017, I was honoured to receive a Helpmann Fellowship which allowed me to travel to Corning, New York and learn from Czech glass engraver Pavlina Cambalova. I have since been developing these skills and incorporating them into a new body of work for an exhibition during the SALA Festival this year.
I am so thankful for all the incredible support I have received through the Helpmann Academy during those crucial early years transitioning from being a student to a professional practising visual artist. The Helpmann Academy has been invaluable in the development of my current practice and in promoting my work to a local and international audience. It has enabled life-changing experiences to travel and connect with artists from all over the world. The Helpmann Academy has given me the best possible start in my career as a South Australian visual artist.
Please consider making a donation to the Helpmann Academy, their continued support has been essential in launching my career, and many other artists like me.
Photo: Zoe Woods in her studio. Photo by Olivia Power.
The Helpmann Fellowships are proudly supported by The James and Diana Ramsay Foundation.