Julie works in three dimensions as often as she works in the mosaicists' more traditional two dimensions and she sent me some photos of her latest piece the other day and I'm in awe of it. The piece is called La Corrente, which means The Current in Italian and it's her tribute to the Gulf of Mexico.
From Julie's statement:
My work utilizes the innate opulence of mosaic materials – 24k gold smalti, marble, semi-precious stones – to embellish sculptural forms in unexpected ways. The discovery of dentalia shells inspired the densly-packed and fragile under skirt.Here's the front of La Corrente.
La Corrente, (The Current in Italian) is about beauty amidst destruction. The sea kelp adorning her gown swirls in the strong gulf currents. Giant Asian Sea Kelp is an invasive species threatening the balance of plant and marine life in the region. While man overtly destroys the gulf with oil, pollution and fertilizer runoff, another destructive force creeps in with the current.
And here it is from the back.
Dentalia are tusk shells, a common find along the shores of the Gulf, and she hand applied each one with tweezers. Here are some details photos.
And here's the finished piece in Julie's studio.
I'm awed by her ability to take an art form and push it in new directions. Mosaic is art and Julie's work proves that time and again. The sculpture as a whole tells a narrative that's moving enough, but the materials too pitch in to help tell the story. Much like the Gulf itself, underneath the beautiful form churns a gathering storm.
You can see the rest of Julie's work on her website and you'll be seeing more of this one. She's entered La Corrente in the 2011Mosaic Arts International and when it gets selected, it'll be on display at the Mexican American Cultural Center in Austin, TX beginning in mid-February, 2011. The photography featured in this post is by Dallas-based Stacy Bratton.
Julie's available for commissioned work (in two or three dimensions though she can probably handle four dimensions) and you can reach her through her website.