Julie Cockburn - Plan B

Julie Cockburn - Plan B

5 October - 4 November 2006

All the materials that Cockburn uses have had a former different life as, for example, books, maps, prints, magazine, game boards. Cockburn's Plan B gives them a new life and form, as intriguing, engaging 3 dimensional art works.

Julie Cockburn makes new worlds from old. In a creative journey that involves the sourcing of materials and the time-consuming labour of intricate cutting out, she sculpts from the books and maps she accumulates.

The playfulness and nostalgia in Julie Cockburn’s work is apparent, shown through this visual exploration and excavation of the materials she employs. She makes sense of the ridiculous by suspending balls in imaginary planetary systems and geological maps, or constructing new landmass from defaced countries, states and continents. Scholarly dictionaries become home to playful rubber balls; gardening books bloom with roses cut from their pages; old atlases are transformed into self-contained, contoured, territories.

“I find myself searching for the answers to questions posed by the materials I collect. Things seem to fit together, drawn together through form or colour or substance. Embroidering a map emphasizes both the threads and the road markings. To me it seems obvious that the images of people playing tennis or doing their exercises should be freed from the pages on which they are printed, or that a hundred paper birds should be liberated from their natural history book only to be crammed into a man-made birdcage.”

In the Rorschach painting series, arbitrary paint splodges are echoed by an image, nearly identical but not quite, a marriage of the momentary and the hour’s long concentration so characteristic of Cockburn’s works.

Julie Cockburn’s pieces are elaborate, intriguing and beautifully executed, with an autonomy that makes one want to believe their existence. Her works are both in priv