Walter and Zoniel are collaborating and exhibiting internationally and represented by MTArt Agency. Multidisciplinary in their practice, they work with a variety of mediums one of which being the production of interactive and socially engaging installations/performances.
Both Walter and Zoniel have practised art since childhood. Walter was born and raised in the heart of London. The urban landscape was his favourite and most comfortable domain where he would create installations in the street. Wandering the concrete complexes of his locality at night and responding to the terrain and the mentalities that he came across, he would create pieces to inspire thought within his peers placing them publicly to be stumbled across in the day. Inspired by the workings of the universe he focused his interests in the studies of science and Nebular theory (this theory explains the formation and evolution of the Solar System) before teaching himself photography.
The central themes to their work come from a meditation upon our existence and reflection of the intricacies of the relationships we have with each other and with the natural world around us. Their work visually charms and entices the viewer into thought and becoming present in the moment. Dealing predominantly with the human condition whilst evoking a relationship and questioning between all the elements involved. Often utilising the tools of nature, surrealism and fun they are able to captivate audiences and inspire them to engage with the artwork. The meditative aspect of their practice allows access to a deeper exploration and experience for all.
The unique nature of Walter and Zoniel’s work often requires them to build the tools needed in order to create their artworks. The artists have created various cameras that they use to capture their photographs (discover their cameras in the Project section).
Their public installation works include performance-practice installation at Tate Britain, Somerset House, Photo London, and site-specific public installations in Miami, San Fransisco, London, Liverpool and Durham. They have been commissioned by multiple national and international art festivals, fairs, biennials and galleries. Their work has been acquired by the National Art collection and the National Portrait Gallery collection. They have also recently been nominated for the Prix Pictet 2021.
“The very nature of creating art is a journey towards a visualisation of something that does not yet exist. An artist’s role is to see past the present into that which you wish to create. In a way, MTArt Agency is echoing this in a business context within the art world. The agency is forging a new way of supporting artists to enable us to create our visions. Support and understanding of the artists’ perspective is essential to the development of great art. Art is not about the present moment, it is about the future, connecting and uplifting people through the essential forces of a dream.
We are also believers that art is for everybody, so creating art in the public domain helps us realise the accessibility we dream for everyone to have.
MTArt Agency has made some strong moves in enabling public artworks. They have set forth a creative, ethical, eco B Corp, cherry-picked incredible entrepreneurial talents along the way, to formulate a new model to support artists to realise our dreams. Dynamism, support, utilising technological advancement is the new guard of the art world. These are things we believe in and are excited to join forces with an agency that celebrates them too.”
– MTArt Agency artists, Walter & Zoniel
Book a visit to Walter & Zoniel’s studio in London here
In the summer of 2020, our artists Walter & Zoniel worked with Fabrica to create a public art project in the suburbs of Brighton. At Fabrica, Walter & Zoniel applied a bright colourful treatment to the exhibition space, and installed a colourful trail of temporary artworks: by painting residents’ houses and community spaces and also a major work painted on the green at The Avenue. A Simple Act Of Wonder examines issues of human connection, inclusivity and our experiences of delight. With a mix of colour, photography, humour, meditation, heritage and geography, Walter & Zoniel forged a tender connection between people and communities. Photograph by Phoebe Wingrove.
Renowned for their innovative approach to early photographic techniques, Walter & Zoniel make use of tintypes, ambrotypes, pigment and salt printing. For this one-day event at Tate Britain, our artists tied their creative practice to the salt print process through the contemporary phenomenon of the ‘selfie’, offering to the participants the opportunity to be part of the making and production of a unique, large-scale work live at Tate Britain (Salt Print Selfie, 2015).
The WZ.DIGI/BRASS is an amalgamation of antique and modern technology, the artists adapted their collection of brass lenses from the turn of the 19th century to work with a digital camera back. Glass being a liquid that moves and warps over time gives this 150-year-old lens an unusual and entirely unique effect to the artists’ modern photographic works. Representative of their personal style, Walter & Zoniel have used this unique photographic technique in a multitude of their fashion collaborations.
This camera is Walter & Zoniel’s largest camera to date. The WZBOX.360 is used solely for the creation of their ongoing “The Untouched” series, where the artists create full-length life-sized wet plate collodion portraits. Test incarnations of the camera have used enormous underground rooms as the camera housing. Somerset House’s DeadHouse, Gazelli Art House’s basements in Mayfair, and MC motors industrial underground spaces in Dalston. The WZBOX.360 was set to come out into the open air, above ground in 2018, a colossal 360 cubic metres. Housing their ginormous trays and dip tanks inside, and using a huge 1800mm lens.
The WZBOX.3 installation is a wooden 8’x 8’ room-sized camera that was hand-built by the artist duo Walter & Zoniel. Constructed in order to create many of their life-sized portraits, it is akin to a ginormous box camera large enough to walk in. Inside it houses a giant tilt-shift mechanism used to draw focus by hand, and photographic chemistry for the creation of their photographic artworks. The artists use a 160-year-old antique brass lens from their collection, adding another layer of unique effect to their work. Doubling as a dark room, Walter & Zoniel operate the camera from within by reflecting light from their subjects directly onto sheets of glass, tin or paper, covered in light-sensitive photographic chemistry.
This is the third incarnation of their WZBOX camera, constructed during a live residency at SHOWstudio. It has been used in the creation of a number of the artists’ wet-plate collodion ambrotypes and tintypes as well as their direct positive paper works. “ICONOSTATUS” was shot on this camera as were their “REFLECTING THE BRIGHT LIGHTS” and some of their “ALPHA-ATIONS” series of artworks. There is no negative involved in the creation of these works. Each image is entirely unique, as it is shot directly onto a light-sensitive surface, which is developed inside the camera becoming the final piece of artwork. The elongated exposure times used by the artists engage subjects in a meditative process unlike any other photographic shoot, resulting in mesmerisingly intimate and beautiful, life-sized images.WZBOX.M is a slightly more portable version of their WZBOX.3, as the camera casing is made of sealed, light-resistant canvas.
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