julia atkinson : artist


There is nothing that I enjoy more than wandering around an abandoned urban landscape with my camera. I first discovered this pleasure when I was 18 and recorded in my sketch book the ellipses of pipes and the rectangles of bricks as they lay in mounds of rubble at the site of a demolished gas works. I’m fascinated by seeing surfaces that were once clean and shiny, now decayed with peeling paint and rust. It is the colours and patterns resulting from this process that excite me.

     Since early childhood I have looked at and collected objects for their colour, pattern and texture, and learning to draw heightened my ability to observe detail and structure. I naturally enjoyed creating new colours through mixing pigments but when I was twenty three I took this further by experimenting with optical colour mixing. Screen printing is the perfect technique for portraying pure flat colour. I experimented with printing and contrasting matt and shiny surfaces, on paper or on fabric, using stripes and geometric shapes and patterns.

     At the same time I am fascinated by the subtle variations of shape in organic forms, and prefer to render them through drawing in black and white. It is only through photography that colour, shape and texture have come together. I started photography in earnest when I was fifty two and, thanks to the amazing technical advances made since then, it has become my favourite medium.

     The preparation of my current exhibition has led me to examine works from my plans chests that I haven’t looked at for many years. Some may find the variety of techniques and imagery surprising – I see them as a record of a voyage of discovery which is not yet finished.

     Julia Atkinson 2013