Zoë Burt is an artist, designer, educator, award winning artist and author. Current themes explore the connection between ecology, botanical colour, activism and sustainability. She has two daughters and lives in South London.

From a young age Zoë has been a botanical explorer with a love for art, textiles and fashion. After studying textiles at Central St Martins, she worked in the fashion industry.

Lightbodies was awarded funding by Heritage Lottery and fusion to document summer at Brockwell Park London lido, a collabrative portrait project using light and water.

After 15 years in the fashion industry , Zoë asked the question ‘is it possible to grow a garment from seed in an urban environment? The Seeds of Fashion project was awarded a Timberland Earthkeeper grant and involved community gardens, parks, allotments, schools, developing to collaborate with Cordwainers Grow, and The London College of Fashion to grow London linen and make a piece designed by students and knitted up by technicians at LCF.

Her fascination with plant dyes grew from this project, leading her study Slow Textiles and how to ‘Grow Your Own Colour’, a year long course in growing and working with natural dyes. Zoë tutors the Seasonal Natural Dyeing and Sustainable Textiles course over 4 terms and the Textiles Advanced workshop at Morley College, London. She also  offers other creative workshops at ”design meets horticulture” venues including The South London Botanical Institute, Kew, Chelsea Physic Garden, Daylesfrod Organic Farm, The Royal Horticultural Society, Bergen Arboretum, Norway and Nisyros, Greece.

Her book Nature Journal in collaboration with Marianne Wie sold at V&A as part of the Fashioned from Nature exhibition.

Zoë loves sharing her skills and continuing to learn about the depth of colour, history and potential in connecting with nature, textiles and people.

45 Collective and 198 Gallery

Unit 45, Second Avenue, Brixton Village Market – 17 February – 3 March 2010

For this event, I created an interactive workshop for Brixton market. This participatory event was created in collaboration with the 45 Collective and 198 Gallery.

People were invited to engage with the diversity of the entire market environment and create a cyanotype that expressed their unique experience of the space.

198at45: ZOË BURT’S OPENING & CYANOTYPE WORKSHOP from Jenny Gallego on Vimeo.

Studio at Elephant

climate change shift dress

Artist in Residence for Climate Change Week, 20-27 March 2011

Participatory “planetary blueprint shift dress”

London Printworks Trust

printworks residency2

This residency in 2013 linked the flax growing project at Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses with London Printworks Trust.

As well as producing new cyanotype prints Zoë co-facilitated family textile print workshops.

printworks residency1

Seeds of Fashion

Zoë was awarded the prestigious Timberland Earthkeeper grant for her work on the urban textile fibre growing project Seeds of Fashion. She collaborated with community gardens, schools and universities to inspire people to reconnect with where their clothes come from, and working together to grow a garment from seed within the M25.

This project, together with Cordwainers Garden and the London College of Fashion, was a 2015 Green Gown Awards finalist. Exhibits and talks and workshops about the project have been shown at the South London Botanical Institute, Brockwell Hall in Lambeth, the Royal Horticultural Society and the London Permaculture Festival.

The project also featured in Hand/Eye magazine in April 2015 and the Financial Times magazine in May 2015.

For more details of the project, see the Seeds of Fashion blog.

A Fibreshed for London (2015) from Jessica Smulders Cohen on Vimeo.


Lightbodies by Karen Livesey from Zoe Burt on Vimeo.

Awarded a residency from the Heritage Lottery and Fusion at Brockwell Lido in 2010, Zoë invited swimmers to make life-size poolside portraits using an early form of photography called cyanotype, or blueprinting.

The success of the venture enabled it to travel to other historically significant lidos, and an exhibition of the portraits was held in Brixton Village in 2010.

light and water bookBuy a copy of Light and Water.

Download a copy of the Tooting Bec Lido Lightbodies book.