Zoya Taylor - Insisting on Joy

6 - 29 May 2021

Born in Vancouver, B.C. Canada to Jamaican and Canadian parents, early childhood in Germany, raised in Kingston, Jamaica and a resident of Norway for more than twenty years. Zoya has a Masters degree in International Social Work from the University of British Columbia, Canada. After years of teaching at universities, developing community programs and outreach facilities in Jamaica, Canada, Latvia, Bosnia Hercegovina and Norway, Zoya began painting full-time in 2000.


"As a painter I share my personal narratives, my personal stories through paintings and in my case it's ended up being about the outsider. But I think the older I have become the more I understand that being a so- called outsider is, for most of us, a natural state. Some of us are more obviously outsiders simply by virtue of the way we look, what and who we identify as, and whatever other obvious difference presents itself in any given situation. 

In my work I try to explore the fluid boundaries between difference and sameness, a theme which I think the current pandemic lends a unique perspective. This pandemic has exposed our shared fragility. But fragility is relative: we are all in the same situation and yet we are not. Our individual experiences depend on highly different political, economic and social realities. 

We are suffering individually but we have set of circumstances that transcend the binary of differences and sameness and bring into focus the scope of experiences in- between. 

It is these experiences "in between that I try to capture in my art. What separates also connects us. "

- Zoya Taylor