My pieces are psychological cabinets of curiosity, inspired by all that is Gothic. Flattened architectural elements, drawn in acrylic pen and painted with ink and gouache, are loosely based on parts of sections and elevations of ancient cathedrals. These feature openings with “curiosities,” which consist of photographic images I have created and exposed as cyanotypes, overlaying parts with solvent transfers. The images depict animals, fungi, plants, and parts of the body, but also ruined and deteriorated architectural interiors that no longer serve their intended function.
Just as in Gothic literature, the work is reminiscent of disused architecture, gloomy forests, mysterious omens, and decay. Roots symbolize both a sense of rootedness and of being stuck in place, while fungi rejuvenate through decomposition: creation through destruction. Animals move through their life cycle; they are memento mori as well as memento vivre.
I think of these “cabinets” as an organizational tool. Even when everything else seems out of control, an artificially created order reflects a reality with a potential for wonder and discovery, or at least the potential to get through something challenging. It feels a bit ominous, similar to the sensation of going through a haunted house or reading a horror novel, eerie, yet also contained in a way to evoke excitement rather than fear.
Born in Poland and raised in Germany, Zofie King came to the US in 1998. After graduating with a psychology degree in 2002, she studied interdisciplinary craft at Towson University, then worked in interior design while taking classes at MICA and the Corcoran, and devoted herself to her studio art practice in 2012. King has had solo shows at the NVCC Margaret W. Fisher Art Gallery, DC Arts Center, Mount St. Mary’s University Gallery, and Hillyer. She was part of the Sparkplug Collective from 2017-2019 and a member of the Washington Sculptor's Group from 2018-2022. Her work is part of numerous private collections as well as the Art Bank collection of the DC Commission on the Arts.