The still-life object acts as a vessel in the exploration of the beauty of the everyday. Its accessibility and familiarity allow the bowl, the vase, the cup, to resonate universally. The stylisation of the vase becomes a sort of language and extension of myself.

As my years of being an artist grow, I find myself becoming more and more restrained in my practice, creating rules for how everything must be. Painting becomes less about self-expression as I become consumed with how the work will be received. As I paint, my eye criticises and my hand becomes tight, trying to create within the confines of my mind.

Now in my early twenties, I have found myself examining my childhood and the process of coming of age. As a child, the world was filled with a sense of wonder and fun. I did not create with any inhibition or fear. There was no right and wrong. When I would paint and draw, the colours were bright and filled with feeling.

In my recent self-reflection, I have realised that the only way forward in my practice is to return to one’s childhood self and paint with genuine sincerity. My main goal is to deconstruct my idea of the way I think painting should be. Instead, painting with curiosity and adventure. A form of self-expression and freedom in an ode to my childhood self.

Zoe Inei is an artist and student currently enrolled in her final year at RMIT’s School of Art. Zoe spent her childhood growing up in countryside Victoria. She now resides and paints from her studio in Melbourne/Naarm.



Zoe Inei, Three Daisies, 2022, oil & pastel on canvas, 40cm x 30cm.


Zoe Inei, Poppies in Striped Vase, 2022, oil & pastel on canvas, 45cm x 36cm.


Zoe Inei, Sunday Morning, 2022, oil & pastel on canvas, 53cm x 78cm.

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Zoe Inei