Zara Matthews studied at Goldsmiths College, Kingston Polytechnic, and The Royal College of Art, London (1997-99).  She has exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions both nationally and internationally. Notable group exhibitions include The Threadneedle Prize - Mall Galleries, London 2013, Wall of Light - Standpoint Gallery, London 2010, East End Academy - The Painting Edition, Whitechapel Gallery, London 2009, Terra Nova:Chimera & Chromosomes - Harewood House, Leeds 1996, British Realism - Flowers East, London 2006, Sensory Material - Bonhams, London 2006, Love, Nursery Rhymes and Autobiography - Flowers East, London 2008/9, and The Swarovsky Art Icon Award Auction - Whitechapel Gallery, London 2014.

Solo exhibitions include : Chambre - Eagle Gallery EMH Arts, London 2011, State of Play - Galerie Kampf at Kunst Zurich 2004, Conception/Genome - Eagle Gallery EMH Arts, London ; Video premiered at The Institute of Child Health supported by The Wellcome Trust and Progress Educational Trust 2003.

Most recently she was awarded The Wapping Project Berlin Residency, Kreuzberg, Berlin 2015;  Nominated for - The Max Mara Art Prize for Women 6th Edition 2016-17 - Whitechapel Gallery, London 2015; and Shortlsted for - Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2019

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