Under the Microscope
Northern Beaches artist Julie Hickson works from her home studio in Newport. With a background in live television and music,
for twenty years in Australia and Europe, she made the commitment to paint full time in 2008.
Her self-taught technique involves the use of hand cut stencils to paint on canvas. This has led her on to the subject of Australian native plants, which visually have evolved into more abstracted, reduced and stylised forms.
Through Hickson’s research into Aussie plants, she’s become increasingly interested in their morphology. That is, the growth from seed, to plant, to bud, to flower and finally, to pod. She calls this “pod-to-pod” which, in 2009, led to a near continual stream of exhibitions to date.
Her interest in plants led her to The Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan, where she took up a residency. This has allowed Hickson to quite literally survey plant forms on an entirely new level. Studying seed pods and other plant material under the microscope, and through x-ray, gives it a whole new level of perspective.
Hickson’s art centres on the patterns, lines and structures within our plant forms, and reveals the process of getting closer and closer to the hidden origins of the plants. The deeper one goes, the more abstract and complex the visual landscape becomes. It is as though Hickson is coaxing the seed pod, the fruit, the leaf, to give up its secrets.
Having this opportunity has reinforced her awareness that the plant diversity in Australia is vast and unique, while rapid overdevelopment has done much to threaten this.
NUTSHELL runs at the:
Be Brave Artspace,
5-7 Careel Head Road, Avalon
Exhibition: January 3 – 13 2019
Official opening is January 5, 5-7pm.