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Artist Julia Norton

Julia Norton

Brooklyn, USA


American, b. 1985   —   Julia Norton (b. New York City, 1985) holds an MFA from SUNY Purchase and an Ed.M from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has exhibited at Lyles & King (NYC), Albada Jelgersma Gallery (Amsterdam, Netherlands), The Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY), and Dread Lounge (Los Angeles, CA) and has participated in residencies at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Banff, Alberta, Canada), SIM Residency (Reykjavik, Iceland), The Wassaic Project (NY), Cooper Union (NYC), Mass MoCA (North Adams, MA), and Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT). She has worked as a museum educator and arts educator at New Museum, Pioneer Works, Swiss Institute, Abrons Art Center, Dia:Beacon, and Harvard Art Museums. I paint with natural pigments and dyes, which I forage for and collect from around the world. Both an artist and a researcher, I explore how to use these colors while being mindful of their respective histories and where they come from. These materials, such as minerals and ochres, plants like indigo and goldenrod, and animals like cochineal, are alive on the paper, and are as important to the work as what they portray. There are some that think of time in shapes other than a line: as a circle, or as a nebula. Nature does not function in a straight line but in a regenerative pattern of decomposition and growth. As I work with materials from nature I aim to be mindful of this pattern and appreciative of their life cycles and what they bring to my practice. Geologic “Deep Time” comes into consideration with the ochres and earth pigments I use. These were the first art materials used by humans 200,000 years ago, and contain iron-oxide, the elements that allow for things to grow from the earth. Painting with ochres along with inks made from plants represents a form of time travel, of birth and death, and old and new brought together. In a similar way the imagery in my paintings brings the inanimate object and the natural world together in living color - creating visual stories that speak to the human experience. Representations of windows, ropes, and fingers, stand for an attempt to bridge worlds and form connections. Themes such as superstitions, ghosts, memory, and dreams work their way into imagery that is both evocative and unapologetically sentimental in its reference to the need for human relationships. Relationships with ourselves, with others, with nature, and the world around us; dead or alive.

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Julia Norton
307 Eckford Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222

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