Julie Gladstone – Portrait of an Artist
I was always in to painting and drawing as I grew up. It was what I was passionate about.
When I was at Concordia University in Montreal, I fell in love with the city by wandering around it. I
started taking a lot of photos as I wandered the city. I was taking pictures of landscapes at first but after
a while I found an interest in the textures of buildings that were in a state of transformation and decay.
This began my interest in abstraction and composition.
I was in Iceland for 6 weeks for an artist residency based in Reykjavik. I was also fortunate to travel
around the country and see some cool landscapes. It’s a landscape that is fairly untouched in
comparison to the rest of the world. It was great to examine the clash between the forces of nature and
humanity in a place where the forces of nature have actually been winning.
One the influences I use regularly is the Sublime in art. This is a trend that can depict terror and beauty.
Photographing is the first stage in my creative process. It is how I gather images and source materials.
When I am actually painting in the studio, it is really important for me to put the photos aside. I need to
let go of the physical reality of photography to work in the abstraction of my art.
For the last few series of work that I have been engaged with, I’ve been trying to deal with my own
anxieties around the changes that are going on in the world and being worried about how they’re not
moving in a positive direction. My new work is inspired by my time in Iceland. I’m trying to deal with a
more hopeful or empowering feeling through my art.