Artist member since 2018
Julie Gladstone is a Canadian visual artist working in abstract painting, installation and sculpture. Gladstone's work reveals facets of the landscape that are hidden from view so as to provide perspective on the human experience of living on earth. Her work considers the passage of time, the metaphysical realm, the microscopic and macroscopic view, things that are buried under the ground and things in outer space. By incorporating all of these elements and perspectives, Gladstone's interpretation of the everyday landscape is revealed through a multi faceted abstract language that explores the aesthetics of the urban landscape, the emotional impact of climate change and environmental destruction, the intersections between consumer culture, the digital realm, contemporary spirituality and how our society experiences nature, and a consideration of our place in the Universe. Her work has been supported by the Toronto and Ontario Arts Council and the Government of Quebec. Gladstone’s work has received attention from CBC Arts, The Guardian, TorontoLife, Notable.CA, and View on Canadian Art and can be found in collections across Canada, the United States and Europe.
I received a BFA from Concordia University in painting, drawing and film studies in 2008. I initially wanted to become a children's book illustrator and was making figurative work in the fantastical/ visionary tradition. While in Montreal, an exhibition venue where I was exhibiting a series of figurative work, burned down. My canvases were saved, but they were all damaged. Rather than being devastated, the fire ended up being a pivotal moment in my development as an artist. The textures on the surface of the canvas ended up being an instigating factor in my move towards abstraction and my interest in working with themes of the urban landscape, surface texture and impermanence. In abstraction, I discovered a language that allowed me to express non - fixed states and create and depict images and depths of realms that I was becoming increasingly aware of.
In Montreal I worked at Red Bird studios and exhibited and collaborated with local artists in the Mile End in Montreal during which time I received a grant from the Government of Quebec and mentored with Michelle Lacombe from Articule Gallery. After this period, I went to Vancouver and Haida Gwaii where I worked in the rare books collection and exhibited paintings at the Haida Heritage Centre before returning to Toronto. When I moved back to Toronto in 2010, I found Gallery representation and had two solo exhibitions with Walnut Contemporary: "The Sky is Falling" and "Metaphysical Cartography" both of which received media attention from publications including Notable.ca, Plaid Magazine and Blog TO. During this period of time I also studied Traditional Chinese Medicine and received my diploma of Acupuncture in Toronto as well as completing a mentorship program in Alchemical Healing with Lorie Dechar in New York.
Between 2014 - 2016 I won a series of awards including the Artscape Award at the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, a residency and a solo show at Artscape Youngplace; the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers (CSCE) Emerging Artist Award at an awards ceremony at the Art Gallery of Alberta. I was an invited artist at SIM International Artist Residency in Reykjavik, Iceland where I had the opportunity to explore ideas related to the Contemporary Sublime and the intersections between tourism, nature, mythology and human detritus . During this period, I also began to work with Navilus Gallery in Yorkville, Toronto where I had a solo show called "Infinity Pool", and where I participated in multiple group exhibitions.
Other notable group exhibitions during this period include 15 Hot Artists To Watch at Canadian Fine Arts Gallery, Full Spectrum at Living Arts Centre(Mississauga), Weather at Pearson International Airport, Tallahasee International FSU Museum (Florida) BUFF?? at SIM Gallery (Iceland) and art auctions including ArtSida(Montreal) Varley Gallery (Unionville) and Vibe Arts (curated by Angell Gallery).
During an artist residency at Artscape Gibraltar point in 2016, I moved my practice moved into the production of 3D works and installation. The “Extreme Cloud Gazing” and “Adopt an Extreme Cloud” combined the notion of cloud gazing and extreme weather, to attempt to bring attention to the dangers of climate change. The installation has gone on to be exhibited in the Grow-Op Contemporary Art Exhibition, at the House of VR Gallery and as a window installation at Earlscourt Gallery in Hamilton and has received extensive media attention including a feature by CBC Arts . In 2017 I spent a year directing a multi use space in Toronto for contemporary and healing arts . During this time I curated a series of exhibitions featuring emerging Canadian artists whose work explores nature and contemporary spirituality. This year, I have working as a full time artist. My studio is based in Toronto, and I have done an artist residency at Comlexe Muse in Montreal and at Artscape Gibraltar Point on Toronto Island. I'm currently the artist in residence at the Department of Canadian Heritage in Toronto where I'm exhibiting a series of works including 25 paintings and 6 sculptures from 2012 - 2017 until October 2018.
When did you start making art, and why?
Polishing The Diamond A piece I finished after returning from my residency in Iceland. It reminds me that I accomplished a life goal and it reminds me of the epic energy of the landscape.
Why is it important for people to have art in their home or life?
Art in your home, is like a little portal into an alternate reality, its a little opening that can shift the way you think and feel. Images are very powerful, and I think it's important to remember that even though we are saturated with images on tv, and through advertising, a well thought out image created without the intention to sell you a product, has the ability to offer ongoing inspiration, transformation and even healing.
Classical Music, The Weeknd, On Being Podcast, This American Life Podcast, Death, Sex and Money Podcast
Who do you consider a genius?
My uncle Mikey Ben-Eli who is revolutionizing global sustainability practices with his www.sustainabilitylabs.org.
What kind of artwork do you have in your home?
Mostly art that I've traded with or bought from other artist friends such as Liz Tran, Anna Pantcheva, Kate Puxley, Etienne LaFrance, Vanessa McKernan, Kathy Tynan, Kevin Columbus, Keita Morimito as well as art by my mom, my grandfather, my partner and my own art. Also I have an original Raffi drawing which I'm really proud of and drawings by my nieces.
When I'm not making art, I'm (a) ...
Taking care of my plants.
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