Self-expression through queer art: Zoe's artistic odyssey at RMIT

Self-expression through queer art: Zoe's artistic odyssey at RMIT

Follow Zoe's inspiring journey as she moves from Queensland to Melbourne to study Fine Arts at RMIT, embracing her queer identity and artistic talent in a vibrant and supportive community.

After attending an RMIT Open Day in 2023, Zoe decided to pack up and move from Queensland to Melbourne to join RMIT studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Through her studies Zoe has gained confidence in expressing herself through her incredible artwork. 

“While leaving my friends and family was very difficult, I have found my community in this city, and I am grateful that I have taken this opportunity to study here.”

“Melbourne has a great art community and university courses on offer.”

Zoe's artistic journey began at a young age, with her love for art growing as she experimented with various mediums. Her work primarily focuses on themes of queer identity, culture, and feminist ideas, painting individuals that have had an impact on her life.

“I love to experiment with a range of mediums, but my favorites are oil paints and watercolour,” she said.

Her artistic talent has not gone unnoticed. In 2023, Zoe had the honour of exhibiting her work at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. A year prior, in 2022, she was the Artist in Residence at the Immanuel Arts Festival.

Since moving to Melbourne and becoming an RMIT student Zoe has continued to grow as an artist and found a safe space for her self-expression.

“I have found it difficult as it is very vulnerable to express myself through my art.” 

I used to only create art that was aesthetically pleasing. Now, in this more diverse community, I find myself at ease creating personal artworks about my queer identity.
Zoe Kamarinos profile and artwork (L) Zoe standing with her artwork series, ‘Control’, displayed in the Creative Generations exhibition at The Gallery Of Modern Art in 2023. (R) Zoe's artwork submission for her Semester 2 Fine Arts portfolio.

Celebrating queerness through Pride Palette, a queer art exhibition

In honour of The International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), RMIT showcased artistic works created by LGBTIQA+ staff and students at the Pride Palette exhibition. Zoe’s artwork, Bear Hug, was selected alongside a host of impressive submissions to celebrate this year’s IDAHOBIT theme of “No one left behind: equity, justice and freedom for all.”

“I have found a personal acceptance of my identity through the support of my friends,” Zoe explained. 

I do not feel the need to suppress my feelings as I did when I was young. I now feel free, loved and equal to those around me, as everyone should always feel.
Zoe Kamarinos bear hug Zoe’s artwork, 'Bear Hug', was recently showcased in RMIT’s Pride Palette, a queer art exhibition.

Greg Dennis, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Coordinator within the Students Group said the exhibition was an opportunity to bring visibility to the creativity and excellence of LGBTIQA+ people at RMIT and strengthen the sense of community.

“It’s been great to see the intersectionality of our artists reflected through their artworks. RMIT truly is such a wonderfully diverse community.”

Looking ahead, Zoe hopes to continue creating art and is considering further studies, as well as travelling and studying overseas to continue to grow as an artist. 

“I am about to start a Semester exchange at UAL in London, and I hope to meet and learn from artists from different countries on possible pathways in the arts,” she said. 

You can find more of Zoe’s artwork via her Instagram account and website.

30 May 2024


More student news

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.