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Studio Magazine

7 Questions for the 2023–24 Artists in Residence

We are thrilled to announce sonia louise davis, Malcolm Peacock, and Zo. Pulley as the 2023–24 cohort of our signature Artist-in-Residence program. In 7 Questions for the 2023–24 Artists in Residence, we forefront their voices by prompting short, casual, and colloquial responses to questions about their work.

In one to five words, what are the themes of your work?

Sonia Louise Davis: Softness, spontaneity, physicality, play, and joy.

Malcolm Peacock: Emotionality. Blackness. Possibility. Transformation. Presence.

Zoë Pulley: Kinship. Hypervisibility. Surfaces/surfacing.

In three to five words, describe how your work appears.

SLD: Abstract, colorful, textured.

MP: My work appears in exhales.

ZP: Layered. Multiples. Collected.

Without naming other art or artists, of any medium, name a few influences on your work.

SLD: My hometown, New York City, is one of my biggest inspirations. When I am sleeping, eating, moving and reading well, I feel the impact on my work and beyond.

MP: The sunrise; the embrace shared by women after completing the eight hundred meters in a heptathlon; my mother’s unwavering sense of self-value.

ZP: Unexpected materiality. The convergence of practices. Levity. Lineage.

What’s your favorite thing in your workspace?

SLD: My handwritten mantras. The most recent is: “What’s the best that could happen?”

MP: A letter from my friend, Sarah Workneh, written to my sixty-four classmates and me that ends in “Let us all, let us all be monsters.”

ZP: A bowl of hair bubbles. A series of portraits taken of my grandmother, Sandra, by a fellow classmate while studying at, the then Philadelphia Museum College of Art (circa 1958). A crayon drawing purchased from a young neighbor around 2021.

What’s your favorite title—not one of yours, any medium?

SLD: A Love Supreme.

MP: A duet for two flowers you’ve probably never even seen or heard of, Taylor Janay Manigoult.

ZP: Tie between Drift Seeds, Veronica Ryan, and Migration Series, Panel no. 57, Jacob Lawrence.

Where do you go when you’re stuck?

SLD: For a long walk or into the kitchen to get my hands busy making something delicious.

MP: When stuck, I either go on a run or sit with a body of water, or a large empty plot of grass in a park. This is where I believe I am the most honest with myself and the most possible.

ZP: Outside—walks allow me to steady busy thoughts. Walking has taught me that slowing down is not only good, but needed.

How do you begin?

SLD: With a deep full-bodied breath (and coffee).

MP: I begin with the recollection of feelings that I cannot shake or ones that I have only experienced partially and want to live inside of more deeply.

ZP: Wherever the content naturally guides me—sometimes that’s reading and listening, sometimes that’s meeting and conversing, sometimes it’s just experimenting with materials. I feel like I keep a running list of things (in my busy head) I’m curious about, people I want to get to know better in my life, or conversations I would love to have with people I may not yet know. I try to evolve those ideas within the context that they may already live in—stories around a community, about a transition within one’s life, histories about both the mundane and the extraordinary—and respond through a series of steps that (hopefully) manifests into a larger exploration of the original seedling.

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