Artist's Statement

Dr Julie Bartholomew

Drawing from my research in Beijing I focused on the dynamic inter-change between an increasingly commodified global culture and the changing identity of Chinese women. Due to my long-term interest in bodies as a site for the expression of social and cultural change, I decided to use objects associated with body modification such as women's accessories from traditional and contemporary China. These objects express the co-existence of past and present body modification practices that are relevant within the context of a country experiencing rapid modernisation and exposure to global values and branding, within a very short time. These ceramic objects refer to the compression of time in relation to Chinese female identity.

The porcelain works that I produced in China during residencies in Beijing, Jingdezhen and Shanghai confronted aspects of these issues. Working with Chinese artisans allowed me to extend the ambiguity inherent within works such as Qing Armani, Qing Chanel and Louis Vuitton Dynasty. These porcelain works combine traditional Chinese clays, glazes and decorating techniques with contemporary brand logos. The finely carved Chanel letters, visible in the Qing Chanel set, are saturated with an ancient Jingdezhen Celadon glaze recipe. The Qing Armani set incorporates the Armani logo into on-glaze decorating techniques that have survived since the Qing Dynasty.

Zhongjian: Midway is a touring exhibition comprising 15 contemporary artists from China and Australia, and will initially be shown in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Xiamen in China during 2009 and Australian during 2010-11. Zhongjian: Midway is a Wollongong City Gallery initiative and engages with a number of interconnected themes that negotiate being midway between cultures. These themes include Chinese diaspora; personal/cultural identity; the impact of Globalisation and the emergence of hybrid culture
Ivan Dougherty Gallery, COFA, University of NSW Date: 16-21 July 2009 during the Australian Ceramics Triennale, Another Silk Road engages the metaphor of the Silk Road in considering the role and impact of cultural exchange between diverse individuals, all ceramics artists, with China as the key common axis. It is anticipated that 8 artists will contribute: 4 from (mainland China and Taiwan) and 4 from Australia (Anglo-Australian, Australian born Chinese and an Australian resident of Chinese birth). Each artist has a connection to China and some to Jingdezhen in particular. Work of each is shaped, or inflected, by the experience of working across cultures and in so doing, questions what it means to be "Chinese". Text written by Jacqueline Clayton curator of Another Silk Road and Senior Lecturer, COFA, UNSW
INSTALLATION AND SCULPTURAL BASED CERAMICS IN AUSTRALIA. Sabbia Gallery, Surry Hills Date: August 2008. Narratives is the first of a series of annual shows presenting the most exciting ceramic art in the country. All works shown in the exhibition deal with the notion of the narrative and story telling. Artists: Julie Bartholomew, Janet DeBoos, Honor Freeman, Patsy Hely, Ruth McMillan and Angela Valamanesh.
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