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Live stream of performance painting event

For Immediate Release: Thursday 22 November 2018

P R E S S R E L E A S E

SARJEANT GALLERY WILL LIVE STREAM THE TYLEE ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE JULIA HOLDEN PERFORMANCE PAINTING ON NOVEMBER 29

Watch the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare O Rehua Whanganui facebook page from 5.30pm on Thursday 29 November

Holden will undertake a live painting performance at Sarjeant on the Quay on Thursday 29 November. Assistant curator Jessica Kidd will be transformed into a painted version of the Yvonne Todd portrait Maven Fuller which is currently on display at Sarjeant on the Quay. This performance will be live-streamed via Facebook and occur in front of an invited audience. The will be a limited number of spaces for media to attend this event.

Current Tylee Cottage artist-in-residence Julia Holden is known for her performance painting portraits which at once challenge and pay homage to the tradition of portrait painting.

Using people as her canvas Holden clothes her models in bespoke costumes, clay moulded hairstyles and layers of paint to create a dynamic work of art. Her portraits incorporate elements of performance, painting and photography. The subjects of these portraits are taken from painted works and often historical photographs. They exist in reality only long enough to photograph and film and then the dripping paint is washed away. The photographic portrait is all that remains of the process.

Holden says: “The portrait work for me is a true collaboration between myself and the person who is acting as my living canvas, be that person an artist or someone in the community. There is a dialogue and an intimacy which comes about as a result of creating the work because it is based on the conversation and the trust that develops. It is a collaboration in a really true sense in that they are an active part of the portrait. The actual painting happens fairly quickly both because I don’t want my subject to be under the paint too long but also because I am looking to capture a very fresh, wet, immediate and visceral outcome.

I’m really interested in the conversation that happens between artists across time. Looking at works that have already been filtered through the mind of another artist is really interesting to me and it feels like I’m in a direct conversation with them as I make the work. It gives me the excuse to look deeply into a work that I might feel very drawn too and that the subject also has a connection to”

Holden’s Tylee Cottage residency coincides with the 125 year anniversary of women’s suffrage and the exhibition 125: Celebrating Women from the Collection is currently on display at Sarjeant on the Quay. In honour of this occasion, Holden has selected several portraits from this collection exhibition to paint, including Ann Verdcourt’s Wartime Wendy and Edith Collier’s Cornish Woman of Spanish Descent. Holden has invited volunteers from the Whanganui Community to be the living canvasses for these portraits.

Greg Donson says: “Julia Holden’s work is an extraordinary cross pollination of painting, performance and photography. As viewers, whether witnessing the live performance or viewing the subsequent photographic record of the process, we witness a conversation, albeit unsaid between Holden and the artist of the original work; the original subject; and the person being transformed into that subject”


To watch the painting performance online and live, become a Facebook friend of Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui and be online on that page from 5.30pm Thursday 29 November.


Biography Julia Holden

Originally from the North Island Julia Holden is an artist based in Christchurch since 2012. Julia’s arts practice foregrounds painting in multi-disciplinary projects combining painting with performance, photography, sound and film. Consistently experimenting with modes of representation and presentation, she has developed innovative relational painting practices employing strategies focused upon encouraging public interaction, community connection and a wider social engagement.

Recent projects include Lyttelton Redux (2016-17), a 23 portrait audio-visual project connecting present-day locals with historical figures with Lyttelton connections, and highlighting their significant contributions toward NZ’s development. I’m Your Fan (2016) viewed the artist-self in relation to the artist’s primary influence or artistic hero. Live, public ‘Performance Paintings’ are a recent development in her practice including Draped Nude (2017) at Auckland Art Gallery, Caroline (2017), NZ Portrait Gallery, Wellington, and Leo (2016) at The Arts Centre, Christchurch.

Holden’s stop-motion ‘animated paintings’ works extend the rhythms, narrative and potential meanings of the painted image. Each frame is individually rendered in the ‘permanent’ material of oil paint, and yet only a handful of actual paintings survive as a kind of residue of the process. These works investigate the discipline of painting in self-reflexive, narrative fictions gently probing the notion of painting as a private, repetitive, meditative daily practice, ritual or habit.

Julia Holden graduated BFA at Elam, School of Fine Arts, Auckland, in 2007 and gained Master of Fine Arts by Research from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, in 2011. While in Australia Holden was a finalist in The Churchie, 2011, exhibited in SafARI 2012, and was a finalist in The Doug Moran National Portrait Prize in 2011 and 2012.

Julia Holden is the Tylee artist in residence from Sept – late Jan 2019


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