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Blair Athol Recut, 2016
Edition of 6

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Statement

Blair Athol Recut is a personal and historical narrative speaking about childhood and in particular the concept of Solastalgia, after an entire township is relocated to make way for an open cut coal mine. This relocation of the township of Blair Athol took place in the 1970’s and as a child living on nearby Blair Athol station and attending Blair Athol State School, this relocation had a direct impact on my sense of place and my sense of community as a young person growing up in the region. Solastalgia describes a form of physic or existential distress caused by environmental change. As opposed to nostalgia it describes the melancholia that is produced by environmental change impacting on people while they are directly connected to their home environment. Working with historical town maps, photographs and ephemera collected from the historical site this mixed media artist book comprises a number of components including an audio of a conversation had between the artist and bush poet Bernie Bettridge. This work is a testament to an important historical event and an emotive recollection of family and community stories.

Biography

Julie Barratt is a visual artist whose mixed media practice encompasses artist books, printmaking, photography, installation and more recently performance. With an extensive background in the arts that straddles artist, arts management, arts producer, collaborative practice, curatorial practice and gallery management she is also a passionate community art facilitator who has worked on projects both Nationally and Internationally in places as diverse as Seoul, Bristol, Scotland, Wilcannia and most recently Nepal where she set up sustainable art studios for young deaf Nepali women as a stepping stone into employment.

Barratt was the recipient of the Alumni of the Year award for outstanding Graduate for the School of the Arts and Social Sciences at Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW for her Visual Arts Honours project in 2012 and in 2015 was awarded the Siganto Creative Artist Book fellowship from the State Library of Qld, Australia which she has recently completed.

Predominant themes in her work lie in narrative explorations of the human condition and emotions, personal and broader histories, site-specific practice and an interest in tactility and the haptic often result in emotive works that engage the senses. Sub themes include personal and social revolution, memory and forgetting, esoteric belief systems and the consciousness of objects. Barratt is passionate about accessibility and inclusion in arts practice.

An interest in the slow art movement as an antidote to our fast-paced, short-attention span, tweeting society underlies an approach to art making that often results in works that include elements that require time, contemplation and induce meditative practice. A recent series of artists’ books, The Mourning After, required the insertion by the artist of over 3000 sequin pins into the final work.

Julie Barrett Website