The opportunity, which attracted applications from around the world, will now see Julia’s work exhibited at the gallery in the New Year alongside that of artist Madge Gill.
The exhibition will open once the gallery can open again.
Simon Martin, director of Pallant House Gallery, said it was heartening to see such strong submissions, adding he and his fellow selectors were drawn to Julia’s proposal due to both her ‘beautiful and distinctive drawings’ and her deep personal engagement with the work of Madge Gill.
Simon explained. “Julia spoke of how she had become aware of the similarities between the intuitive ways in which she and Madge Gill work, and how this had helped her own creativity to flow. She spoke of being inspired by the intensity, passion and complexity of Gill’s work and how it had grown out of her process.
“This will be Julia’s first solo show and she told us that the opportunity will fill a long-term dream and give her the confidence to promote her own drawing. I was most particularly struck by her saying that the co-commission ‘acknowledges what I am, who I am and what I want to do.”
Julia sees it as a major opportunity: “Seventeen years ago I developed cancer. After treatment it spread and things were not looking good. But the last lot of surgery worked even though they were not predicting a five-year survival rate. Against the odds I am still here. So this (exhibition opportunity) is what it is like living beyond the dream of living.”
As well as feeling a ‘deep resonance’ with the life and works of Gill, Julia also has a special affinity with the exhibition space – Pallant House Gallery’s Print Room.
“With my drawings I would have fantasies about where they might be exhibited and I always thought they would only work in the Print Room,” she said.
“You think about the people who went before you, their essence remains. To be in a space that people you admire and respect have been is an awesome feeling. The fact you are treading a path that has been trodden by them – and perhaps that people will be inspired in turn – is just incredible. I hope that it shows, even in the face of adversity, you can achieve.
“Everybody needs a chance to demonstrate their ability and unique creativity. Sometimes lived experiences hamper or deny access to opportunities to showcase talent, and I believe this co-commission goes towards addressing the inequalities in contemporary art.
“I am looking forward to immersing myself into the process of drawing from a place deep inside of me with the knowledge that others will be able to see my conversations on paper and add their voice too.”
All Souls: The Outside In Co-Commission was originally due to take place from January 13-March 14 at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester. New dates will be confirmed.
All Souls is the second co-commission by Outside In and Pallant House Gallery. The commission invited applications from artists (or groups of artists) that face barriers to the artworld to create a new body of artwork that explores and responds to the work of artist Madge Gill.
The applications were judged by a panel of selectors – Simon Martin, Liam Ashworth, a digital artist who has been supported by Venture Arts for the past five years, Natasha H, Outside In artist and Samantha Lackey, head of collection and exhibitions at the Whitworth, the University of Manchester.
Julia is also a member of Pallant House Gallery’s Community Programme, a widely acclaimed project that enables participants to experience a creative life on their terms.