Indepth Arts News: |
"Bush Profiles: A Solo Show by Julia Roberts"
2002-12-04 until 2002-12-11
Sculpture Square Limited
Born in Australia in 1965, Julia Roberts completed her first degree in Arts at the University of Sydney in 1986. After seven years working as a disillusioned advertising copywriter in London, she graduated again in 1995, this time with honours from Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. She then embarked upon her painting career and has since exhibited widely in London and Sydney, in solo and group shows. Her work is strong, vibrant, multi
layered and – in the case of her London and Sydney street scenes – frenetic. She has said that she tries to ‘capture the experience’ of her subject, creating an effect through a combination of the figurative and the abstract, that is at once vibrant and immediate.
Roberts moved to Singapore in 1998. In February 2000, she participated in ‘An
Affair to Remember’, a group show celebrating the work of thirteen of Australia’s
finest young contemporary artists, which was held at the Australian High
Commission here. Her work focused on the local wet markets, again intent on
portraying the experience of it all: the hustle and bustle, the movement, the
colour, the sense of much going on at the same time.
In Bush Profiles, her first solo show in Singapore, Roberts takes on that most
unique of all Australian features – the bush. In tackling the landscape of her
native country, she is fulfilling a long held personal ambition to confront what
she believes to be her most challenging subject.
She sets out with the same aim however - to explore the experience of looking at
and being immersed in the bush. As with her previous work, she succeeds in
capturing the ‘drama’ of it all - in one work the trees shoot up straight and
smooth, columns connecting earth to sky, in the next they take on almost human
characteristics, twisting and turning, sinewy and sinuous, entwining with each
other on the forest floor. She is particularly interested in capturing the effect of
the light as it filters through leaves and peeling barks, lending the trees an
ethereal quality and leaving the earth below dappled with shadow.
Roberts paints in her preferred medium of oil, using an earthy palette, on
panoramic boards she has had custom made. The unusual format of these works
accentuates the breadth, depth and sheer primitive vastness of her subject. Layer
upon layer of paint create an intensity to her work – it is not just trees and all
their textures that we are invited to explore, but also foliage, undergrowth and
forest floor - that draws the viewer in, inviting them to plunge deeper into the
uncanny stillness that is the Australian bush.