Zel lives and works in Dover, Kent with the atmospheric bands of distinct coastal colours and the hazy sky-line of France not so far in the distance.
She take inspiration from the surrounding landscape: the fragile chalk white cliffs with their irregular strings of sharp flint, shipping lanes which criss-cross the sea, solid wrought iron industrial structures, that are re-shaping the landscape echoing the aspirational needs of communities in the twenty-first century; traces of these linear forms have found their way into many of her paintings.
She is also inspired by what is partly revealed and what remains hidden under the layers of history that lie beneath the coastal paths and local towns: shapes, shadows, remnants of wars and ancient power struggles; the transformative and never-ending cycle of loss and renewal.
In her paintings there are aspects of asemic writing; splintered letters and words. Enigmatic symbols that have been worn away by time or washed by the sea.
Zel works in both oils and acrylic, on wood panels or canvas. She strategically builds up layers of paint and then excavates back through to reveal aspects of what was once there.
She has a passion for Letraset which she adds into and onto the surface of the painting. The quality and feel of the surface is an integral part of her work; some paintings are finished with cold wax layers, others with a matt varnish.
An objective is to create a tension between gestural and controlled marks to bring energy and life into each painting. Importantly, she references her background in both textile design and art psychotherapy through emotion, active imagination, pattern and design, whilst integrating and exposing different and varying aspects of her life.