Interview – Julie Green – New Zeland

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When did you realize you wanted to become an artist? Is there a story behind it?

When I left school.

But life got in the way – earning a living, buying a house and having a son.  But I have always spent a lot of time visiting galleries and museums and this kept my creative side alive. I always knew I would get back to creating things………it was just a matter of time.

For those unfamiliar with your work, what are your main influences and how do you approach your subject matter and colour palette? Coming from NZ has influenced a lot?

Well this residency has given me the opportunity for a completely different direction. The last two years I have worked collaboratively with a friend on photo collage.

My interest now lies with painting, collage and sculpture.

I studied and have a deep interest in Art History and Physical Anthropology/Archaeology. Museums and Art Galleries are my happy place. My new work is influenced by my visits to the Belgrade National Museum and other museums in Belgrade and the content that I have viewed.  Some of the artefacts go back as far as Neolithic times. The quality of craftsmanship of some of the pottery, jewellery and coin making that I have seen here are terrific. I am influenced by their shapes, their narratives and mark making.

Coming from New Zealand……….we are on the other side of the world.

We have very different light  – its very bright and strong. And visiting in Winter provides a very different perspective for me. Certainly relevant on the photographic side of things.

And our history in comparison to Serbia, is not very long.

What attracts you to this genre in particular? What do you hope to capture and convey in these pieces you create?

Both sculpture and painting is returning to what I use to do – it feels like putting on a comfy pair of old shoes – comfortable, relaxed and where I want to be.

The drawings and small paintings which I have created while in Belgrade are research for me……looking to the artisans of the past for inspiration, not sure what next and where this will lead. This for me is a journey at the moment not a destination.

A long friendship between you and Gina Hochstein percolated into a creative collaboration. What role has it played in the development of your work and artistic career?

Our collaboration created a number of works which we exhibited. But probably the greatest thing it achieved was the confidence to get on and create and making the space in our lives on a regular basis to“do it”. As busy Mothers, it is hard to prioritise your creativity when you work full time and are working on the dining room table with life happening around you. By working with Gina, we kept each other in check which resulted in a number of series of works and commissions.

We very much had the attitude of DON’T BE CAREFUL OF WHAT YOU WISH FOR………..WISH FOR IT ALL.

And coming to Belgrade for the artist in residency was one of those wishes.

What are your other interests besides art?

Gardening, travel and the outdoors. Living in a country like New Zealand, you can’t but love the beach, the bush and our volcanic landscape. Skiing on a volcano is pretty special.

I think naturally all of these interest combine into the work that I am currently doing.

You chose Belgrade. How come?

Belgrade chose me.

Serbia is interesting – a history of many takeovers. Lots of different peoples and cultures. A melting pot of interest.

It hasn’t disappointed.

What are you currently working on that is exciting you? Did you find your Belgrade Inspiration?

Yes, and it’s a work in progress. Thrilled with the progress I am making to date.
What other projects do you have on your agenda for 2020? 

I have a series of sculptures which I want to create when I get home.  My time at BAS has given me the head space to resolve some of these challenges,………. and then the journey continues.

Your message to artists coming to Belgrade in the future…..

Be open minded. It’s a gift, treasure your time here and give yourself the space to be creative.