Julia HartGrand Junction, Colorado

Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident 2024

Jules Hart was born and raised in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. She is currently living and working as a high school art educator in Grand Junction, CO. Jules worked as the Ceramics Studio Assistant for a year at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, CO, where she leaned into the learning opportunities that presented themselves to her on a daily basis. Jules loves teaching and working in clay communities, and has a love for wood firing.

Her functional wares are based on a desire for comfortable vessels that offer variated and interesting surface texture, slip and glaze combinations. Jules’ main practice involves conceptualizing the ephemeral nature of memory, and the physical effects of personal trauma, presented through clay. She is currently experimenting with the applications of 2D printing processes such as ink prints and cyanotype exposures, and she is eager to follow this with additional research into paper clay and its conceptual capacity. Jules is excited to be joining Red Lodge Clay Center as a Spring 2024 artist in residence.

My ceramic work is a representation of my journey through wavering emotional phases of life. Practicing coating, cracking, pressing, and pulling, I expect ongoing irregularity in the results, which often challenges my sense of stability and security both inside and outside of my artistic praxis. I attempt to articulate the complexity of loss, longing for closure and the desire to reclaim and preserve memory within clay and ceramic materials.

I use ceramic materials as vehicles to protect and preserve fleeting moments and fragility, as well as figures of the physical effects of time. I approach my work with a need to analyze my body’s reactions to stress and trauma, and I identify clay as a catalyst for both unpredictability and control. Combining cyanotype printing within my ceramic work is a process that I return to because of the element of chance that it inevitably imposes on my practice. The porosity of the clay evokes fluidity, and blue tones revealed by the cyanotype emulsion bear unpredictable levels of depth and weight that depict emotional significance, and the stillness and limited permanence of memory.

I am continuously inspired by the structural limits and the responsiveness of the material I work with. I employ both three-dimensional and two-dimensional regions of negative space in these mediums as an opening to my feelings about distance, and ephemeral memories.  Blue becomes a realm of both protection and the unknown; holding memories in its atmospheric embrace and pulling abiding layers of shelter over my dissentions.

These fragile and intimate renderings of emotions and experiences are my setting of self-expression, and through my practice have become to function as a personal journal. Each element of my practice serves as a bridge between my imagined contemplations and uncertainties, and the deliberate expressions of my emotions. Understanding how I process the world around me, as well as examining my past and future, is an intention I constantly consider during my artmaking.