'Julie Swan was born in Clare, South Australia. Her early years were spent compulsively drawing the human figure. She remembers how each day fellow students would line up during school breaks to have their portraits drawn. During her high school years her skills were broadened and challenged by the tuition of Lorna Lee who introduced her to clay, to intriguing books and to magical gardens.
After her training at the North Adelaide School of Art she began a long and very rewarding teaching career. Her skills diversified within the South Australian Department of Education, the community and abroad. Julie has enjoyed much recognition for the projects that she has facilitated and yet she values most highly the wonderful relationships she had with students. In 2002 she resigned from teaching to commit fully to her art practice. Her studios are now located on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia.
For many years Julie has chosen to develop a focus on themes that refer back to women's role in society and to the interpretation of contemporary Buddhist practice.
Today Julie’s figurative sculptures are recognizable for their beauty and the portrayal of ‘sensuous’ lines and form. Surface preparations play with light and shade and work towards transforming the base material of earth towards a feeling of simplicity, light and energy.
First impressions may suggest a ‘pretty’ form, but on deeper analysis much symbolism is present. Julie is very aware that her work should be seen not only as a respectful interpretation of ancient religious iconography… but also that her aim is to interpret these ancient teachings in a broader more contemporary sense.
She is aware that she challenges the viewer. The often hidden or beguiling nature of her pieces can trap and mislead shallow appreciation. They require more from the viewer than just a cursory appreciation of ‘outside appearance.'
eala art studios 2012