Arts Derbyshire

Artist profile

Zaza Lewis

Paper and fabric collages

I illustrate by sketching on black paper with a white pencil, which is then hand-cut using scissors and scalpel, before layering the fabrics, no need to use paint. I’ve often been asked what am I trying to say through my work, but essentially, I want to communicate a sense of joy. The medium in which I work lends itself to depicting these idealised, slightly naive illustrations and the bold colours of the fabrics help to further enhance the vibrancy of the images in my head.

I am trying to capture the precious and happy moments from my everyday life, whether it be from my garden or a local market, a walk in the fields or in a city – or even if I receive a bunch of flowers. I will often also use white, or a lack of colour, to help the picture breathe. A bit like a pause, a comma, or a full stop in a sentence. A breathing space is necessary, so the contrasts and colours become even more important.

I was born and grew up in Pau, South-West of France near the Pyrénées, and I frequently visit family there, as those amazing varied landscapes and colours have been a source of inspiration from the start. I have lived, worked and raised a family in Derbyshire, England, as a freelance graphic designer and also specialising in historical map making.

I now have a dedicated working space at Banks Mill Studios in Derby. This old victorian building is a hub for creative people stretching onto 5 floors. It’s a perfect and has enabled me to expand and grow my business as an artist.

2018 Judges’ First Prize Summer Open Exhibition in Nottingham
2019 Highly Commended certificate for the Emerging Artist of the year Award, Creates Gallery in Monmouth
2021 Mixed Media Winner – Awarded by Nicola Winstanley from Creative Lives and Tony Turpin from Bromsgrove Arts Alive



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