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1 Beach Party, 2020

I embroidered the truth during lockdown

Balancing Act is an exhibition of works I made before, during and after lockdown. I live on my own and work from home, so little overtly changed in the logistics of my day-to-day life. Like everyone, I carefully negotiated my way through the news bulletins and supermarket aisles, cautious not to become overwhelmed with the enormity of the pandemic.

While in isolation, I noticed how much we connected by sharing our creativity on social media in an act of showing and being seen – our bread, our gardens, our dances, our cardboard animated projects. This is my show and tell.


'Ta da 4', 2020

2 Ta Da 4, 2020

I have worked with photographs of skaters in the past – I am intrigued by the artistic expression required of these athletes and the shapes they embody. My interventions are an exercise in distilling the figure into colourful dots, mapping the velocity, gyroscopic movement and expression.


‘Jester 1’, 2020

3 Jester 1, 2020

I often choose to use unconventional materials in my work – these playful jesters wear suits of gaudy sticky-backed plastic, defying the strict formality of the black-and-white photograph underneath. I imagine the subject bouncing around, playing the fool. The plastic circles accentuate her stance, evoking an almost mechanical figure, an anatomical robot.


‘Clearing 1’, 2020

6 Clearing 1, 2020

Here, I pared down my intervention. Restricting the embroidered scribbling to the border seems to give the collaged photographs more depth, while heightening the sense of place, solitude and tranquility.


‘Blue moons’, 2020

5 Blue Moons, 2020

Sometimes I will work on a series of photographs that suit my ideas. In this case it was the other way around. I was struck by the ethereal, remote quality of this image. My response amplifies and echoes the sense of such an otherworldly, alien place.


‘Valley melody’, 2020

4 Valley Melody, 2020

I love to work with large-scale, generic photos of places we think we know. I started adding spots a few years ago, evoking flare particles so often captured in landscape photography.  Here they float across the image, following the mountainous contours, guiding us into imagination.

See more at juliecockburn.com