Julia McKenzie | New works
Artist Julia McKenzie recently visited the gallery bringing with her some wonderful new work which we’re delighted to be sharing with you. Julia is based in South London where she has lived all her life after training at Camberwell School of Arts & Crafts. Her work is primarily drawing based, sometimes layered with paper cuts and collaged maps and she also produces limited edition prints.
When Julia McKenzie visited us we took the opportunity to have a good catch up and find out what inspires her as well as more about her latest work:
“My South London home continues to be a constant inspiration to me. My resident urban fox, the stag beetles and birds that share the space in which I live are tenacious and intriguing. Fragile glimpses of forgotten objects and fragments of natural cycles help me create a visual narrative that hopefully reveals some of the nuances of an urban habitat where man and nature are forced to co exist. Natural phenomena can be hidden like treasures in an environment that may appear unnatural; you just need to seek them out.”
“My new print ‘The London Mudlark’ came about after the contact I made with an avid mudlarker based in Greenwich who kindly lent me some of her treasures built up over years of combing London’s Thames side beaches. The River has helped shape London over thousands of years. You can find fossilised urchins millions of years old to Tudor coins, Roman jewellery, and even entire leather medieval shoes. Traces of millions of past lives are all here to be found. The longer you live in a city, the more you get to bear witness to it ever-changing sky line and are aware of its eternal metamorphosis. Mudlarks reveal hidden and forgotten echoes of all that has gone before.”
“I was really delighted to been asked to design the new Remembrance product range for the Imperial War Museum’s shop which launched on the 16th July 2014. I took inspiration from the words of Siegfried Sassoon in his poem ‘Aftermath’; I was also given some of the stories and artefacts of those caught up in events of WW1 to help choose a starting point. The wild roses woven into the Aftermath design are taken from a small bag, held in the museum’s renowned collection, embroidered by Lance Corporal Charles Frampton of the 12th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment while in hospital. Charles died from his injuries on the 19 August 1917. I wanted to create an eternal spring; the circular design is always in a state of revolution so we can never forget, the image is perpetual. It was a wonderful project to be involved in and I am very pleased to have been asked.”
“Drawing first hand is always my starting point; my grandfather’s books on natural history and my father’s passion for geography, maps and charts have an increasing influence and relevance to my practice. As my printmaking gains more confidence, I have started to move into dry point and drawing directly on to the plate – watch this space for more etchings in the New Year.”