Photo: Iveta Boiko

AZZZA

AZZZA is the platform we use to share our thoughts on cultural issues more widely. It consists of the relevant activities and skills of AZ (Anita Zabilevska), ZZ (Paul Bizzell) and A (AZZZA Limited), our company.

As well as our intellectual interests we do also take commercial commissions and offer consultancy through our company.

We are happy to discuss the details of our thoughts and work, to hear your constructive comments and also offer our thoughts on your ideas, projects or issues that you’d like assistance addressing.

AZ – Anita Zabilevska

Anita was born in Riga, Latvia, where she gained her art education by graduating from Janis Rozentals Riga Art School and then the Art Academy of Latvia, Department of Painting. Thirteen years of learning art history and the technicalities of the craft of being an artist seemed a long enough period to be able to know all the “whys” and “wherefores”.

However, the crucial moment of revelation came later. It was after completion of a post graduate programme in the Philosophy of Contemporary Art and Architecture, which was offered by the Central European University in Prague. Lectures by Ian Jeffrey (photography), Dalibor Vasely and Joseph Rykwert (architecture) still seem relevant to her today, even many years after being a student. The studies gave her a powerful encouragement to explore the language of visual art from a wider perspective, in its cultural context.

The relatively short period of postgraduate studies turned into a much longer phase of exhibition practice and intensive travel. The resulting video installations, objects, site-specific work and photographic installations were exhibited in numerous international exhibitions across Europe. Anita was also granted the honour of being a part of the artists’ team when Latvia first participated in the international art event – Venice Biennale 1999. (List of exhibited works 1993-2008).

Anita continues her work at present by working on individual projects which explore different aspects and systems of visual representation and perception. She likes to combine different medias and her work very often refers to elements from art history to establish the context for the concept of her work. She thinks that it is valuable for everybody to have at least a basic understanding of the language of visual art, to enable discussion on the subject.

Anita also works as a graphic designer with a particular interest in the creation of symbols and signs, brand identity, technical illustration and the use of photography in her commissions. Her leisure time interests are practicing yoga, watching performances of contemporary dance, especially at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London, listening to contemporary classical music and enjoying the taste of fine tea.

ZZ – Paul Bizzell

Paul is a person with a wide variety of interests. Although being born in England, he spent most of his childhood and teenage years in South Wales, where his parents relocated due to his father’s work commitments. The position of being an outsider gave him an appreciation for the diversity of culture and established the basis for his cosmopolitan view of the world. Many years later after settling back in Oxfordshire he speaks very warmly about the beauty of countryside, people and experiences of his childhood.

Paul has qualifications in IT, Environmental Biology and Statistics from Oxford Brookes University (formerly known as Oxford Polytechnic). He is also an experienced auditor and assessor, with a background in engineering, IT & telecoms & public sector service provision. His specialism is Safety Culture analysis & development, Management Systems and their improvement through people. He is the master of finding missing links and making things work in situations when there is no apparent way forward at the first glance. His motto is: “The only sustainable form of success is to make other people successful.”

One of the first truly profound art world experiences Paul had was as a result of responding to a request for help by one of his friends completing their MA degree level paper dealing with structures and conceptual background of French formal gardens. This led him to deepen his already independent art philosophy studies.

He is a very entertaining companion when attending art exhibitions, it is easy to spot his sharp analytical mind. He recognises patterns and he gets to the core of concepts and context with critical method and his keen observation skills. He expresses his creativity and concepts of his own through words and photography. He jokingly remarks that if he had another life, he would study semiotics.

In his leisure time, which is a rare gift in Paul’s life at the present moment, he plays chess with friends at a local chess club, curates his collections or follows motor and other sports.