The beauty of Zoe Wetherall's work is in the structured geometry of natural and man-made forms – a natural fit for a little girl who wanted to be a bricklayer when she grew up.
Wetherall, who has won nearly two dozen awards in her short career, recalls gazing at the pattern in a wall of bricks as a four-year-old daydreamer, and thinking "I can see how that works. I could do that."
Photography has been a part of her life for almost as long. She first picked up a camera when she was eight and her father gave her instructions on his SLR. She has vivid memories of shapes emerging on the photographic paper in the darkroom, and of shooting at the family's houseboat on Lake Eildon, two hours from her hometown of Melbourne.
"I've been interested since the very beginning in photographing landscape and what was around me," she says.
She enjoyed early success, too; she was just a teenager when her images were first exhibited, as part of a group display of high school art at the National Gallery of Victoria.
These days, she nurtures a design-conscious approach to her work, paying attention to the subtle patterns hidden in architecture and landscape, and using her camera to reveal their beauty.
But she first realized those preoccupations would be her path as a photographer when she was holidaying in the United States and took a hot air balloon ride over Albuquerque. Shooting downward, she found that familiar landscapes resolved into something quite different when seen from above, and she liked the way that distance sorted the noise, dirt, and humanity of the ground below into orderly, abstract designs.
The resultant bird's eye views struck a chord with people, and she began to get airborne any way she could – on a birthday scenic flight, on a doorless helicopter tour in Hawaii, over Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon. Exhibitions and more awards followed, and now Wetherall is based in New York City focusing most days on interior and architectural photography.
"I really like looking straight down," she says. "It makes me look at things in a very graphic way; you are just focusing on the textures of the land and the shapes without being distorted by the angle of view. It's given me a distinct style that I try to carry across all my work now. It's very simple and clean."
2020 / Vital Force: Water Essential / Front Room Gallery / New York NY
2019 / The Environment In Contemporary Photography / Front Room Gallery / New York NY
2019 / Summer Sampler / Front Room Gallery / New York NY
2019 / Americana / AIPAD Photography Show / ASMP Booth / New York NY
2018 / Summer Sampler / Front Room Gallery / New York NY
2018 / Strata / Front Room Gallery / New York NY
2018 / Head On Landscape Prize Revisited / Sydney Children's Hospital
2018 / The ASMP NY Show / Member Spotlight / Front Room Gallery / New York NY
2018 / Pattern In Landscape / Front Room Gallery / New York NY
2017 / Moscow International Foto Awards / Best Of Show / Moscow / Minsk / Simferopol
2017 / Feature Shoot Exhibition / United Photo Industries / Brooklyn NY
2017 / Order / Droga5 Office / New York NY
2017 / All Good Things / Noerr's Vernissage / New York NY
2017 / Head On Landscape / NSW Parliament House / Sydney
2017 / Order / Edmund + Co Art Traders / Hawthorn
2015 / From The Air / The Ballarat Mining Exchange / BIFB'15 Projections
2015 / Aerial Albuquerque / Oak & Steel / Prahran
2014 / CCP Salon / CCP / Fitzroy
2014 / IPA One Shot: One World / The Loft at Liz's / Los Angeles
2013 / Translations / RAW Melbourne / Melbourne Pavilion / Flemington
2013 / Head Off Landscape / Paddington Reservoir Gardens / Sydney
2013 / Aerial Albuquerque / Gaffa Gallery / Sydney
2013 / IPA One Shot: Spaces / The Loft at Liz's / Los Angeles
2013 / Aerial Albuquerque / Carbon Black Gallery / Prahran
2012 / Sub One Thousand / Edmund Pearce & Carbon Black / Melbourne
2012 / Aerial Albuquerque / Edmund Pearce Gallery / Melbourne
2007 / Summer Exhibition / Photography Studies College / Southbank
2006 / Do You See What I See? / Exhibition for The Fred Hollows Foundation / Melbourne
2006 / Lake Eildon / Pantechnicon Gallery / Daylesford
2005 / Lake Eildon / Stoaked / Daylesford
2003 / Top Arts: VCE 2002 / NGV Ian Potter Centre / Federation Square
2018 / Hasselblad Masters / Finalist / Aerial / Architecture / Landscape
2017 / Tokyo International Foto Awards / Fine Art / Silver
2017 / The APA Awards / Series / 3 Winning Images
2017 / Moscow International Foto Awards / Architecture Photographer of the Year
2017 / Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards / Winner for UPI & Agency Access Prizes
2017 / Head On Landscape Prize / Finalist
2015 / APA New York Photo Contest / Landscape & Architecture / 5 Winning Images
2013 / Black & White Spider Awards / Architectural / Honorable Mention & 3 Nominations
2013 / The APA Awards / Landscape / 3rd Place
2013 / Head Off Landscape Prize / Finalist
2013 / Australia's Top Emerging Photographers / Capture Magazine / Architecture / Runner Up
2013 / One Eyeland Awards / Nature Photographer of the Year / Silver
2013 / One Eyeland Awards / Nature / Gold & Silver // Fine Art / Bronze
2013 / Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards / Photography / Finalist
2013 / IPA One Shot Spaces / The Space Between / 2nd Place
2012 / International Loupe Awards / Landscape / 2 Silver & 6 Bronze // Illustrative / 2 Bronze
2012 / The APA Awards / Landscape / 1st Place
2012 / APA New York Photo Contest / Landscape / 1st & 3rd Place
2012 / Australia's Top Emerging Photographers / Capture Magazine / Landscape / 1st Place
2009 / AIPP Australian Professional Photography Awards / Documentary / Silver
2008 / AIPP Australian Professional Photography Awards / Commercial / Silver Distinction
2007 / AIPP Australian Professional Photography Awards / Commercial / Illustrative / Landscape / Silver
2007 / Photography Studies College / Graduation Awards for Academic Excellence
2007 / Photography Studies College / J R Hayne Awards for High Achievement in the Commercial Major