For this exhibition Julie Harris combines recent abstract paintings and sculptural pieces all referencing the same motif: the strip or ribbon. Harris has intuitively incorporated this linear element in ever increasing ways over the last three years, layering it onto a more organic ground. The motif signifies her immediate environment in its most basic form – whether vertical or horizontal the strips describe features such as: her studio louvre window, musical scores, birdsong, garden elements and the weather. This motif also references Harris’ process of stripping back any recognisable imagery or formalist structure from the canvas and allowing the paint residue to create the final work.
Harris is influenced by the Japanese aesthetic concept of Wabi-sabi which looks at the beauty of imperfection and impermanence especially with regard to the natural world. With this in mind she paints intuitively allowing her physical surrounds to flavour the work: she is directly influenced by the seasons, her studio, the music she chooses and sounds from outside. Harris has a long history of non-intentional painting, she allows the substance of the work to reveal itself without a predetermined outcome in mind. The colours and texture of the paint find their own form, in this way her paintings are a collaboration with the natural environment.
A Blue Mountains City Art Gallery exhibition curated by Rilka Oakley
JULIE HARRIS TSS #4 (Blue Pentaptych) (detail) 2016-2017, acrylic on polyester, 80 x 900 cm. Photo by Asia Upward.