Friday, 1 February 2013

Julee Latimer



Julee Latimer. Photo by Dita
12 countries in 17 years! Apart from her being the friendliest person in the group,  that was what that I remembered about her when I came home that night. I remember the feeling of urgency in the drive back home...I could not wait to get onto the computer and have a look at her creations (and some of the others as well). A few clicks and there they were...resilient, spectacular works of art, mosaic sculptures like I had never seen before...and immediately the same feeling of awe struck me. The feeling that makes me want to know more about the person behind those creations, the feeling that fascinates me and makes me think what it is that makes her do what she does! She is Julee Latimer, the mosaic artist who
has been awarded, published and is represented by several prestigious galleries across the globe. Julee Latimer, the humble, honest, down to earth 'local' artist who will not speak about her accomplishments unless really asked! The Julee Latimer who was happy to have me in her Home Studio one fine January morning and chat over several cups of tea despite the time constraint of finishing PERSEPHONE, in time for their display at New York.

SIMPLY TULIP - Glass over hand formed substrate
Photo by Dita
 'Colours always fascinated me', she said, trying to remember what initiated the artist in her, "but I would never paint a whole field of flowers. I would rather highlight the details of the one colour in the one flower in its various shades and grandeur." This was before she started creating Mosaics but you can see the essence of this in her work even now. She loves to create pieces that play on the different shades of the one colour and evidently that is what has made her work so unique. 




Full and Close up view of HYBRID,
Glass over hand formed sculpture
Photo By Dita

When asked how it was to pursue a career in the world of art alongside bringing up two boys, she very lovingly recalled a few incidents where she stood blank in front of the canvas not being able to connect with the inspiration...but knew at the same time that she had this one hour only before she would have to jump in the car to pick the boys up from school.

She accompanied her husband where ever he had to move because of his work as she believed that a close knit environment at home would be best for her boys in their ever changing surroundings. Having studied Interior Designing and Colour Psychology, Julee on the other hand had to find something constant to pursue that would not be defined or dictated by the sundry Visa laws in the different countries. She needed to do something that would not disturb the equilibrium of their unique, ever evolving family life. After pursuing painting for some time she found her true passion in Mosaics about 15 years ago. She describes it to be "the most exciting art form I have ever come across. It combines texture, colour and light like no other and gives me the freedom to be carried away."
 
Emerald
Every move meant that Julee had to start her networking from scratch. But this has also helped her art-work evolve into what it is today. According to her, the Mosaic Artists Society worldwide is a very well connected group and that has been a positive influence all through. Contemporary Mosaic Art (CMA) which celebrated 6 yrs recently has also been a very supportive influence in her art-life in the last 6 years that she has been in Australia. Now that she has more time to devote to her passion, an ideal day starts with a Yoga session in the morning and about two hours at the computer doing all the administrative stuff that come along with being a free-lancer. The Yoga she loves but the administration she detests! After all that is out of the way she pretty much spends the rest of the day in her Studio letting her “real-self” take over. If it's fiddly, intricate pieces the indoor Studio rules, for bigger, commodious ones the spacious ‘hot pink’ Outdoor Studio is the place to be.

Currently on Julee's desk at the Indoor Studio. Photo by Dita.






 
Julee takes 5 weeks off every year to visit her parents in England. This is the time she spends to meditate, reflect and contemplate on the year spent and the time ahead...only to yearn to create more. Her fingertips itch and her mind overflows with the possibilities. She is back in 'heaven' when she starts Mosaicing again - creating magic by combining the sub-conscious with actuality. Mosaic to her is unique as a lot of thought, cognition and deliberation go into each piece because it is a slow, time consuming process. No wonder scratched knees, cut fingers or aching backs do not matter to her!

Julee with some of her Greek Goddess Flowers. Photo by Dita.
Her sheer hard work, persistence, incredible sense of colour and vivid imagination has created a niche for herself that is commendable. To see more of Julee’s work visit her website here. She has won several awards and her work has been published in many countries. She has recently exhibited at the prestigious International Exhibition of Contemporary Mosaic Art held at the Clauiano Art Exhibition Gallery Udine, Italy.  And the most exciting project that she is working on at present is for a New York based exhibition in April 2013 where she will be showcasing her Goddess Flower Sculptures - her vision of flowers based on the myths of the Seven Greek Goddess. You can take a sneak peek here.

4 comments:

  1. I am so accustomed to people writing about my art, that I found it both flattering and humbling to read this article about me. Thankyou Dita for asking me for this interview. Also, I know how difficult it can be to walk into a room of artists not knowing a soul and I am glad you were happy I spoke to you.

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  2. Thanks for that Julee. I am so glad you liked the write-up!

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  3. Bhalo hoyechey... I really loved how you deconstructed her work and co-related it to her life!!

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    1. Thanks Sharmi :) That was the idea!

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