Thursday, February 17, 2011
Last Thursday I did a studio visit with artist Julia Elsas, meaning I went to her studio and we had a dialogue about her work. And today we had one scheduled for my studio but have decided to reschedule for next week. But I have been meaning to mention her work since then and was just waiting for the right day. Ta da!
Anyway, Julia invited me into her studio as I had seen her work at the Missing/Missed artist talk and she felt some resonance with my comments and questions. I was delighted to see more of her work and talk shop with her, plus she is super nice.
Currently Julia's work is kind of 2 separate bodies of work. One of which seems quite resolved in its direction and one that seems very much still in the phase of experimentation and "figuring it out."
Her monoprints, which are generally created from pressing nylons through the press, have a wonderful balance of abstraction and realism. You know what the objects are but you appreciate the abstract quality they have most. Her more recent ones, not on her website are from the original mono prints which she then cuts out and collages onto a new piece of paper, often having the shapes mirror each other. I especially like these as her use of negative space and the scale of the back piece of paper is in perfect proportions and her palette is fabulous. One suggestion I had was that one of the images be embossed into the paper and one be collaged, I felt that would add a new layer and more depth to the overall visual and conceptual experience.
Her other current body of work is what is on display at the Textile Arts Center, a series of work where she uses a computerized embroidery machine to create works with photograph's of her body, generally repetitions of the same part in process, for instance the mouth speaking. Exploring issues of body language.
To me the best moments in this work is when there is flaw, in the machine, in the sewing, in the construction, the perfection of the computer image and process broken down in some way.
Conceptually she is still figuring how this series is going to and how it needs to manifest. Which to me is one of the most exciting moments in a series. I cannot wait to watch her figure it out.
Julia joined us at the collective meeting so I am hoping that she becomes a member of our community on a regular basis.
Her statement is lovely:
Flirtatious gestures, the body language of longing, and the private moments of anticipation are my subject matter. Using sculpture, drawing, and embroidery, I explore the tensions of desire and voyeurism and the universal mating dance that becomes a game of suspense and ambiguity... The materials I use are highly tactile --- urging, but denying touch.
But based on her other work I have a feeling it will be great. Check out her series of altered books. Awesome.
See more work here.