ZEE VAN GILS
ROOTS & NEW BEGINNINGS
Born in 1990, Zee van Gils is a Dutch artist who unearthed her passion for resin when she worked alongside the first surfboard shapers of a small fishing village in Lombok, Indonesia.
After studying, travelling and working, Zee left her home in The Netherlands at 23 years old to reconnect with her creative side, which led her from Australia to Indonesia, where everything slotted into place. She fell in love with surfing and found a welcoming community. What started as a trip, resulted in Zee calling Lombok 'home' for the three following years, living in exciting yet often testing circumstances. In a tiny jungle shack, stripped back from the western world's luxuries such as clean running water and internet, she found a place to come home to herself.
UNLEASHING LOST CREATIVITY
Working as a surf photographer, cafe manager and creating surfboard art at the local shaping bay, Zee was also given free rein by the shapers to experiment and explore her creativity. She discovered her obsession with resin during the board glassing process, when she instantly recognised similar patterns in her surroundings on the island. Zee developed an undeniable urge to create abstract interpretations of nature’s textures and colours. Being the first person on the island to try making art with this medium turned the beginning of her artistic journey into a continuous test of her patience and dedication.
Zee’s work is an ode to mother nature's ever-changing balance and contrast, and an appreciation of the way it has helped her heal and grow as a person. Solidifying fluid movements in delicate layers, she invites the observer to stay curious; to come closer, to see these layers and details from different angles and in changing light. Her art is a daily reminder that nature is always there for us to enjoy in all its moods and seasons. It's there when we need solace, peace, grounding and stillness. A place to come back to ourselves.
Merging aerial perspectives with a vision of the ocean surface from below, she aims to capture colours, textures, layers and patterns in her own abstract interpretation of mother nature's elements. Zee's endless inspiration is stored in her mind; memories of visuals of nature from her travels; her colour palettes are drawn from the sea, sky and earth.
PLACES CALLED HOME
In 2018, Zee held her first exhibition in Perth, Australia. Six months into her stay, visa issues arose - Zee was held in detention and eventually deported and sent back to The Netherlands. A full 180 which led her and her partner to start over in Cornwall, UK.
Now as a full-time artist residing in Cornwall, her artwork has found homes in over twenty different countries worldwide. In July 2022, she exhibited her works alongside Nina Brooke at Joy Editions Gallery. Zee continues to tell a story of defiance; of going against the grain to discover her own fluid movement, influenced by her natural surroundings.