art & other work by Julia Hill
I love experimenting and learning new things, which means I am a sculptor that is drawn to a wide variety of methods and processes. I like to use contrasting materials and textures in my work. I think about negative spaces, light, and shadows. I am inspired by changes in nature, both slow and cataclysmic, microscopic and cosmic. I like to create forms that hint to shifting or invisible forces, such as gravity, tides, and wind. I am very drawn to welding, largely because it is so elemental. I utilize found objects and salvaged materials when possible, and often, the objects I gather will inspire and guide me to the final work.
I collect bits of this and that everywhere I go. For reasons that aren't clear, I am drawn to specific objects I come across in the constant current of man-made and broken debris that surrounds our entire human existence. When an odd-shaped mangled piece of rusty steel is asking to be a toad or a coyote, I simply must oblige.
I really love animals and observing wildlife. They sneak into my art. Sometimes the creatures are based on real animals, sometimes they are more abstract. With all of them, I try to capture a strong gesture or convey a specific mood.
I really enjoy drawing, and this core foundational practice always comes back around in the studio. I love building sculptural work off of a wall. I can play with depth, light and shadow, and texture to create ethereal landscapes and offer a glimpse into otherworldly environments.
Much of my abstract work refers to concentric circles, magnetic fields, wave formations, impacts, orbits...I am drawn to these forms and patterns again and again. Expanding outward, or collapsing inward, each piece is a moment caught in time. Sometimes the point of origin is clear, but sometimes it is unclear what forces have affected the form, lending a little mystery and ambiguity to the sculpture.
My smallest works are my tiny art army. I use these for creative fitness. I can experiment with form and balance, use up scrap materials, and maintain a playfulness in the studio. These often become gifts, given to friends, or left in secret places to be discovered by humans I haven't yet met.
My largest works are built to be outdoors in public and community spaces. With this work, I can offer something unique, often whimsical, to a community's physical environment. I want my work to entice people to slow down, to increase their awareness of the world around them, and through that awareness, cultivate a deeper appreciation and love for the space and time we occupy.
Almost all of my interests and skills come together through my puppetry. With puppetry, I can connect sculpture with performance, ceremony, and kinetic movement. Large puppetry is a collaborative and community-dependent endeavor. These puppets are designed side-by-side with clients and collaborators, and take a team to build and operate. I enjoy puppetry because it can only happen with others. Everything must come together. Connections make me happy.
(That’s why I make sculpture.)