'In this series of paintings I returned to Palm Beach where I grew up over summer holidays at my grandparents holiday shack. I remember the smell of mosquito coils after a nine hour drive from the mountains and arriving to find that squatters had been living there over winter. I’ve had a somewhat sheltered, indulged and carefree life and it is those diamond days that I love to meditate on in the studio while listening to records, and challenge myself to depict those memories, drawing out the essence, trying to grasp the spaces, the colours, the poses of characters and the light of the moon. I've collected so many trinkets and objects in my travels and I find arranging them in the studio in various ways, gives me a doorway back to the future.
I worked on these paintings simultaneously with my other show 'Winter Soundtrack', dancing between summer and winter, mountain and wave, the two distinct spaces emerged and I've attempted to distil the essential aspects of these seasons to me, collaging in a sense from various times - from childhood to motherhood and the misspent youth in between - travelling to beaches with a backpack and sketchbook between Asia, America and Europe, more often than not paying for my beer in portraits at a beach bar shack, the heat of the beach, the wild crazy sun struck days thawed and drenched by a downpour of rain.
The title of the show occurred early one morning watching the sun rise over Whale Beach where we stay in a gorgeous old cottage often. My son Wilbur started howling to the ocean ‘the sea is the key!' and we made a poem and started making a little movie. I was so proud of how free and alive and happy he was.
Some of these more figurative works are trying to capture those treasured moments by the sea.'
Bruce Beresford writes:
It’s always exciting to find a painter who not only has technique but a unique way of looking at the world. The first time I saw some of Zoe Young’s paintings I was fascinated by their exuberance and bizarre choice of subject matter as well as a visual style that struck me as not being derivative of other painters - two admirable qualities in an era when so many admired artists are of this or that school.
So many of them seem to be in the shadow of Picasso or Matisse or - WORSE- the New York school of painters such as Twombley, Pollock, de Kooning, Rothko etc.