Zara Mader is an artist photographer based in Cardiff. Her work crosses several genres including portraiture and street photography. Within her portrait work she focuses on those underrepresented within music and the arts concentrating particularly on women and people of colour.
More recently she has been interested in combining her photographic interest of street-art photography and portraiture. This interest has come together in an ongoing project inspired by punk icon Poly Styrene. As a mixed race Welsh photographer and a fan of punk, this is a response to the place Poly Styrene held in punk linking it to my position as a photographic artist in Wales. Because we share the same ethnic mix I am interested in the role race played in the choices Poly Styrene made in successfully pursuing a career in punk, and whether social class had more of an effect on her choice of career. I am equally interested in her enduring influence on women today. Even though her colouring marked her out as different as did her choice of clothing in punk, she represents a group of the British population - being mixed race - that is growing in number, so I want to question what being British - being Welsh - looks like.
Zara studied English literature before starting work as a photographer. Recent exhibitions include the Diffusion International Photography Festival, Ffotogallery, at the Wales Millennium Centre, 2019. Zara was a member of the Phrame Collective and a regular contributor to exhibitions. She is also a key member of waaru, the Welsh Artists Against Racism Union. She showed with g39 as part of Empower Me, curated by Megan Charlotte Fraser, Sacha Reid and Sara Treble Parry with the Womens Arts Association Wales. She is also a contributer to Made in Roath, Lost Items was a site specific project in 2014. Articles include an interview for Get The Chance and a broadcast about Poly Styrene with Rhys Mwyn for Radio Cymru.