ART WEDNESDAY # 10 JULIETTE LOSQ
November 14th, 2012 by ART WEDNESDAY
Juliette Losq popped onto our radar a couple of years ago when she exhibited in the RAâs summer show, so when her name appeared on our Facebook page to be featured on Art Wednesday, we thought weâd better get in touch. The Essex-born 34-year-old London-based artist creates hauntingly beautiful, large-scale photographic-esque paintings. Blending print-making and etching techniques, her artwork depicts overgrown, neglected landscapes that are inspired by the writers Iain Sinclair and Peter Ackroyd, as well as Victorian prints, rococo compositions and daguerreotypes, to horror and science fiction films. She integrates all these elements into her own documentation of dilapidated landscapes, playing with notions of the interior and bringing the outside in â note the Victorian fire places in the photos below. Itâs all very clever stuff.
Juliette studied English and History of Art at Cambridge, then did an MA in Eighteenth Century British and French Art at the Courtauld Institute. She worked in the City for a few years, before she came to her senses and returned to study Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art (BA Hons 2007), followed by a PG Dip at the Royal Academy Schools (2010), phew thatâs a lot of education. But the hours of hard graft and of course her art skills paid off and she won the prestigious Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2005. Although she was encouraged to study academic subjects (you donât say!), her father was an art teacher â the obvious inspiration behind her path into art. She studied her art A-level at home under his watchful eye and continued to make work and exhibit during her degree at Cambridge.
ARTIST TO WATCH: JULIETTE LOSQ CAPTURES THE OMINOUS BEAUTY OF ABANDONED PLACES
October 5th, 2012, by Allison Meier, Blouin Artinfo
In her depictions of derelict landscapes, Juliette Losq aims to place her viewer on edge. Her dense ink drawings create worlds at the breach of nature and the urban, where dark forests creep up to buildings in ruins, their walls hexed with graffiti; and where stagnant water that reflects both serenely and grotesque flows beneath empty bridges. The British artist has an incredible talent for capturing the unease and appeal of abandoned places, and this month she opens her first solo exhibition in the United States at Theodore:Art in Brooklyn.
âIâm generally drawn to work where the landscape, whether populated or not, is an active element rather than a backdrop,â Losq told ARTINFO. Her background is in art history, literature, and fine art, studying at an impressive multitude of institutions, including Newnham College at the University of Cambridge, the Courtauld Institute of Art, Wimbledon College of Art, and the Royal Academy of Arts in London. It was there that she met Stephanie Theodore of Theodore:Art, who has worked with several alumni of the RA program as part of her efforts to showcase emerging European artists in the US.
JULIETTE LOSQ CATLIN ART PRIZE FINALIST NUMBER 1
May 13, FAD
This is Julietteâs main piece to feature as part of the Catlin Art Prize 2011 exhibition it is a large scale myriorama â a take on the Victorian childrenâs playing cards, which, when next to one another, can be moved around in any order to create a panoramic landscape. Juliette is interested in Victorian optical devices such as the panorama, the diorama and the myriorama and the ways in which the Victorians used these devices to present landscape as a spectacle.
Below Juliette answers a few questions from FAD followed by her biog.
1 If you werenât an artist, what else would you be?
Iâd love to be a field zoologist working in the Amazon
2 Name 3 of your favourite artists.
Samuel Palmer, Walton Ford, Reece Jones
3 What was the most intelligent thing that someone said or wrote about your work?
âThrough her pictoral recording of place and the accompanying insinuation of grim melodrama, Losq stands in for the anonymous illustrators as well as the âcommon readerâ of the Victorian age, hungry for lurid stories of scandal and sensation from the seamier side of life. The viewer thus finds himself in a vaguely voyeuristic position, simultaneously lulled by natural beauty and goaded by implications of naughtiness.â
Stephanie Theodore- Psychogeographical in Ink: The Wunderkammer of Juliette Losq
4 Do you care what your art costs? State your reasons!
Pricing work is very difficult and in the past Iâve relied on people like former tutors for a consensus.
I was advised on my BA course at Wimbledon College of Art that as long as you donât decrease your prices at a later date, thereby annoying anyone who bought earlier work, then you canât go too far wrong.
5 What are the three big ideas that you would like your work to express?
Iâm interested in the philosopher Henri Bergson and his theory that the past is bound up physically in the current moment, driving time forward â like a cometâs tail â and being carried along with it.
Iâm constantly questioning my interest in representing the landscape, and I carry out research into the ways in which my vision of the landscape has been (re) framed historically. Iâm currently looking at the ways in which the Victorians used optical devices to present the landscape as a spectacle. Iâm reading about how they used functions of doubling and repetition in dioramas and moving panoramas to present scenes of ruin and disaster for the viewerâs meditation and delectation. The abundance of Gothic abbeys and deserted or crumbling dwellings in these devices ensured that they became associated with mortality and the unfamiliar. I am interested in transposing these uncanny themes and effects to the contemporary derelict and marginal landscapes that form the basis of my work.
More generally I want to convey the notion of the symbolic âClearingâ in my work: the place where order and civilisation meet chaos and wilderness. I try to evoke in these hinterlands the primal notion that a step in the wrong direction might lead to the forest snatching you into its depths.
6 How do you start the process of making work?
For me the most important thing is to have good photographic sources. I am constantly looking for new environments to explore, both in London and beyond. Iâll then make a series of excursions, take hundreds of photographs, and start working them up into collages in my studio.
7. Whatâs next for you?
Iâm about to be included in a group show in Edinburgh, organised by an artist-run initiative called Sunbear Gallery. The show will be part of the Embassy Annuale 2011 festival in June.
PSYCHOGEOGRAPHICAL IN INK:THE WUNDERKAMMER OF JULIETTE LOSQ
by Stephanie Theodore, Theodore:Art
Jack the Ripper is probably psychogeographical in love.
Juliette Losq refuses to take sides in her work, which presents as both photographic and hazy, documentary and nostalgic, gritty and bucolic. Her leafy landscapes offer the serenity of a bucolic woodland hideaway.
Losq sets forth on foot to wander the canals and rail lines that inhabit the least desirable of urban land, finding meaning and narrative in shadowed corners and overgrown plots. Losq cites the influence of Iain Sinclairâs appropriation of the Situationists Internationalâs idea of psychogeography as a methodological influence:
âFor me, itâs a way of psychoanalysing the psychosis of the place in which I happen to live. Iâm just exploiting it because I think itâs a canny way to write about London.
Although her earlier work may reflect gravitation towards the picturesque, Losq has overlaid her scene-capturing work with a compelling pall, filtering her observations through the influence of other paths of intellectual exploration. The dark subtext of her work touches on the decay of forgotten corners of an outdated industrial London and the rough interactions that might have occurred therein. Her fascination with crime and horror stories from the Victorian era, as illustrated by engravers for such publications as The Illustrated Police News, provides the âhabitual axesâ along the by-ways in the darkness on the edge of town. In this past time, newspapers did not feature photographic reproduction, relying instead on the balance of artistic interpretation and objectivity of the draughtsman. The time it took to produce the illustration of a crime scene allowed for the artist to shape it into a tale, to be passed down and changed according to the next storyteller. This discrepancy between eye and hand that whets the imagination was lost in the adoption of photography to illustrate the news.
In her role as anachronistic documentarian, Losq records the images of these places from memory to reflect on the lives, real or imaginary, that have passed through; or rather, the lives that have perhaps passed on there. Through her pictoral recording of place and the accompanying insinuation of grim melodrama, Losq stands in for the anonymous illustrators as well as the âcommon readerâ of the Victorian age, hungry for lurid stories of scandal and sensation from the seamier side of life. The viewer thus finds himself in a vaguely voyeuristic position, simultaneously lulled by natural beauty and goaded by implications of naughtiness.
In Wunderkammer, while the setting is at first glance rustic and calm with a rather pleasing vagueness. However, there appears no obvious entrance or exit from the thicket of grassy undergrowth and low craggy trees. The sepia tone of the illustrated foliage suggests the passage of time in memory â the rich greens of summer leaves have faded, while the setting itself is rendered carefully, yet distorted. The images along the paperâs edges do not match up, creating an impression of dense arborial barriers, and leaving shadowy gaps where the pleasures of a woodland reveries slip into ominous shadows. Amongst the foliage, the viewer can find himself as lost as he might in a similar real life setting; the illusion of an observer haunts the viewer, who is thus turned into the viewed.
Accompanying the large wall work, the cabinet referred to in the installationâs title serves as an ambiguous repository of vision and memory. Behind faceted glass doors lies an isolated detail, the bits the viewer might have overlooked in his anxiety. The foliage blends in and blurs, shape-shifting into mirages of uncertainty and foreboding. Is it a face, attached a figure, hiding amongst the reed and the grain of the wood. Quick, close the cabinet doors! Keep it locked up!