Julie Harris Biography
My work is largely autobiographical. I try to make what is an intangible personal experience, thoughts, feelings, and humor into something tangible. Technically, I place form against form, each interacting with the other to create a visual metaphor. Each piece begins as a representation of a thought or feeling, and the interweaving of the imagery and materials create a visual poetry. As I look at a series after its completion, I rediscover those perceptions that I was trying to understand, and then I recognize the pieces as inductively formed images of personal growth. My art becomes a dialogue of self-searching, discovery, and understanding. In recent work, I seek to create images that break the traditional boundaries, to combine photo-intaglio with silkscreen, collage, trace mono-print and relief, printed on handmade paper. The images go beyond the typical delivery, combining printmaking in a less traditional presentation. Through interplay of juxtaposed images and objects, each piece seeks to uncover the essence of my perceptions. The prints serve as touchstones for letting the viewer into the metaphor as well as providing yet another barrier, to be shattered and then reassessed. The work focuses on an internal struggle, the need to form connections along with the need for solace. The materials used are loaded with their own symbolic meaning. The paper suggests a skin-like reference, and with that all of the vulnerability and toughness associated with a hide. The process in creating a work represents a change not unlike the trauma of birth. Frequently, pieces are altered, wounded or pierced in some way before the end product is realized. This evolution relates to a destruction followed by a renewal, providing a way to heal the present and recover connectedness. In this way, the process becomes a metaphor for my own existence. A few months ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I'm currently working on a large scale installation of photo intaglio print objects to reflect that one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. I'm photographing women 18 and up from the clavicle to the hip, then digitally manipulating the images in Photoshop. The photographs are transformed into photo-intaglio prints. Finally, I am framing the images within mammogram examination gowns to create a powerful art object full of metaphorical content. The show will is meant to engage and educate viewers on the impact of this deadly disease.
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