A series of wooden panels created using the technique of intarsia interweaves plant motifs with images of human bodies, queer polymorphous communities, seed collectors, mysterious rituals. In these works, the artist addresses and queers the traditions of biomorphism, that is
the history of modelling social organisations on organic forms and processes occurring in living organisms.

The blotched material used in intarsia is burr, widely employed in furniture decoration. Burr develops in the natural world as a tree growth resulting from the swell of a trunk infected by viruses, fungi, or suffering from damage or a genetic defect. An injury activates tissue that cicatrises the trunk by gradually widening growth rings, forming bulbous protrusions and transforming wood fibre layout in a way desired in intarsia.

Coded in burr patterns, the traces of plant’s illness and self-regeneration are liberated by Zeic from their prior decorative function. Now, their characteristics enhance her representations of non- normative worlds, doing away with social divisions between what’s “healthy”/”natural” and
“unnatural”/”pathological”. Her intarsia pieces result from the artist’s lengthy, handicraft work. This process gives resonance to and transforms her personal experiences of her parents’ carpentry workshop and growing up in the Polish countryside.

Following the invitation to put imagination to work, queer communities become potential allies of the plant world when they experiment with expanding sensitivity, also on an interspecies level. At the intersection of human and botanical bodies Zeic discovers a space for regeneration and embedding new tales of resilience, co-existence, and survival in a degraded environment.

(text: Joanna Sokołowska)