Julie Barratt | Friday

Julie Barratt working in isolation in Finland, 2020. Image by Solange Baques

“Remember that time you went to Arteles Creative Centre in Finland as Artist in Residence and…”

Meet Julie Barratt, currently overseas on residence in Finland. On extended residence!

I met Julie in 2019 as one of five recipients of the CQRASN Hothouse Mentorship Program to guide the FOUND! Studio Dog project from concept development through to staging. How lucky I was to be mentored by an artist and curator of Julie’s experience, and it was with joy that we wished Julie a hearty bon voyage as she headed to Finland for the residency. Yay!

(cue the sound of borders closing… and the on-hold recordings of airline companies)

Julie, along with two other remaining artists, is unexpectedly witnessing the far northern winter move into spring, as her one month residency becomes two. And they’re all working, collaborating, and making unforgettable connections. And I get the sense they are so grateful to be safe and well and cared for by Arteles.

Click here for artist Joëlle Anthony’s wonderful interview on Julie’s Finnish installation—Safety Net—created at the Centre in early April.

Julie, what is your art practice?
I am a printmaker and mixed media artist who specialises in artist books and occasionally has a foray into installation and performance art.

Who is your studio companion?
I am dearly missing my studio companion Friday who is a long nosed fox terrier and who loves to sit on my feet so that I can’t possibly forget her for a moment.

(Ed: Friday has her own instagram page @friends_of_friday … please heel and follow if you like)

What are you working on in your studio now?
I have been working on an artist book that relates to my isolation experience through the Covid–19 pandemic. It is appropriately called The Isolation files and is essentially a visual diary of my days here in isolation in Finland rendered through the processes of hand stamping, stitching, drawing, painting and digital photography.

How has the current imposed isolation changed what you’re doing? Has something really surprised you during this transition to ‘artist in quarantine’?
It hasn’t really changed what I am doing but it has made me very much more aware of creating site specific work with materials that I have at hand. Being in an isolated rural area we make do with materials that we find around the studios! Something that has surprised me is that I have given myself time to play and to experiment and being in isolation with an amazing photographer from Argentina has meant experimenting with making camera obscura’s and having photo shoots with found face masks.

Any special news about your art practice?
I have been asked to document my isolation story digitally when I return to Australia for the State Library in Brisbane for their collection which is super exciting!!

May the plane seats materialise soon for you Julie!

Studio assistant, Friday, the long nosed fox terrier and feet warmer.

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