Monday, August 8th, 2016
Lives in a landscape – where the new meets the old
24th July – 16th October 2016
Summer has finally arrived and so has our new Guest artist’s summer exhibition; a mesmerising collection of metal work by Julia Cowie, entitled Lives in a landscape.
In Julia’s work, the new meets the old, opposites converge in subtle ways: modernity encountering antiquity and ordinary metals fusing with precious metals. The demarcation line between useful and decorative is beautifully blurred.
Julia is an acclaimed metal worker and silversmith, who, since gaining a 1st class BDes (Hons) degree in Jewellery and metalwork from Duncan of Jordanstone in Dundee, has already been granted several awards in her field. Her work also features in private collections.
Her artistic output is an entirely unique response to the land and sea we inhabit and live by. It consists of a number of simple form vessels and other objects, aesthetically understated and produced using age-old forging and casting processes.
Julia often works outdoors, where she would source the clay and sand required for her casting moulds, thus giving her artworks a unique geographical connection (some of her artworks have been cast using clay from the old Hume brick works and sand from the Berwickshire coast). As she explains :
“Landscape holds our history and sustains us – it inhabits us as much as we inhabit it. I have chosen to work with natural materials from local landscape as far as possible. I’ve also chosen to use traditional processes, which bring us closer to the landscape and lives lived on the land; processes such as forging and casting. The work celebrates the interaction of people with their cultural and natural environments. My design is led by what the processes and materials can achieve and how pieces feel when held. The surface patterns, textures and forms are integral to the making. The aesthetic is simple and understated. The character of a piece arises from the process of making and patina. Connecting with and creating in the landscape, a concern for sustainability and reflecting on the importance of the domestic is at the heart of my work. I want the viewer to find a sense of space and connection; and to reflect on the value of small lives well lived.”
Julia’s beautiful artworks have a very powerful presence. Based on the Wabi–sabi Japanese aesthetics and world view which is centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection, each piece has real gravitas in its understated form and aesthetics. Their beauty derives from their “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” design. This in turm makes them look as if they have emerged from the beginning of our times, and, when held, it is also our history and humanity that we hold.
Julia’s work is for sale at the White Fox Gallery premises and online. For examples of her artworks for sale, please go to our Shop’s Guest Artists page.