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Julia Engelhardt

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I always wanted to paint.  I came to weaving later in life. It is now a passion.

My professional background is in arts publishing and exhibitions.  My work involved a lot of visual research and curation.  As a result, I have a huge store of imagery in my head – colours, textures, proportions, visions, sensations – which get distilled and feed into my woven pieces.

I have been working on 8- and 16-shaft looms since 2013. Discovering Sheila Hicks’ ‘minimes’ set me free to sketch and paint with yarns. With the work of another favourite artist, Paul Klee, often at the back of my head, I now produce poetic pieces – ‘weavescapes’ - for wall display. As I also love language they all have titles.

As an artist I am exploring the painterly and sculptural qualities of yarns and fibres within the relatively constraining context of a shaft loom. I am pushing these limitations to achieve vivid expression in this unfamiliar medium.  My pieces evolve intuitively and I use yarns and fibres as 3-D lines of paint, each with its own colour as well as textural characteristics.  I often leave the ends of materials I use hanging off the sides as I think it is interesting for people to see what they are and how they ‘behave’.

Above all, I am pre-occupied with bringing movement to the rigid angular grid set by the shaft loom, often sacrificing the traditional stability of cloth for maximum expressiveness,  trying to weave pieces of art that feel like objects come to life.