Born: Weymouth, Dorset, UK 1971
Julia Fry experienced art as a joyous respite during childhood but this escape was marred when she was told she wasn’t good enough to do art at school. Julia immediately stopped making art, except for a drawing occasionally when she couldn’t suppress the urge. Many years later she unblocked her artistic creativity on an Artist’s Way course.
At university, as a mature student, Julia enjoyed staging interactive theatre, which she combined with film. She also made films about her childhood trauma. Graduating with a 2:1 in moving image, Julia was uncertain where to place herself in the art world; creating films about her childhood trauma had re-traumatised her. She returned to her love of interactive art and created Wonderland. She also creates abstract drawings and paintings. Her images are intuitive; she loves dots and flow.
When I couldn’t physically get away from those who were doing unspeakable things to me, I lost myself in an intimate connection with the detail of wood grain or the weave of fabric. Often in childhood I would escape to the wood at the back of our house.
A Silver Birch tree grew there that had three trunks growing out of a central trunk and when I stepped into the middle of these, it became my rocket ship. Inside my rocket my task was to peel pieces of papery bark, without breaking them, into identical horizontal strips. My whole being focused on this task and allowed me to not feel anything about what had been happening at home.
As a grown up, I have a compulsion for detail in my art. I have no idea whether this is linked to that intense connection and need to escape but I do know that I adore detail and repetition. You will see this in my work over and over. I also like to think about the meaning of my work once repetition and detail begin to establish themselves. As I add layers, I begin to see themes emerge reflecting internal and external influences such as my processing of childhood trauma, and my love of natural phenomena and the awe it inspires.
Another aspect of my work is creating interactive experiences that take you into another world or perspective. I love seeing adults letting go of worries and playing with childlike glee or questioning what’s part of the experience and what isn’t. When Lockdown is over I’ll invite you into non-gallery spaces to experience different perspectives with wonder.
Exhibitions and Workshops
2020 Oct Artists Responding To…, Book – 4th Edition
2020 Mar – August Flow Expression Online
2020 Feb Vision Board Wonder Workshop, Brighton
2019 Nov Dubuffet Mindful Art Workshop at Investec Wealth and Investment Bank, London
2019 Oct Mindful Movement for Climbers at High Sports, Brighton
2019 Aug Mindful Movement for Climbers at High Sports, Brighton
2019 Apr Wonderland Indoor Adventure Playground for Grown Ups at Funplex, Brighton
2019 Feb Wonderland Indoor Adventure Playground for Grown Ups at Funplex, Brighton
2018 Mind Game: overcoming irrational fear in climbing at Adur Centre, Shoreham
2018 Creating Healthy Food Habits at Vegfest, Brighton Centre, Kings Road, Brighton
2017 The Inner Resources Workshop at The Coach House, Walpole Road, Brighton
2017 The Inner Resources Workshop at my home in Brighton
2015 Singularity at University of Brighton Gallery, Grand Parade, Brighton
2014 Play in my Flat at my home in Brighton
2014 Not Punch and Judy at University of Brighton Gallery, Grand Parade, Brighton
2019 Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills at Training Qualifications UK
2015 BA (Hons) Moving Image at University of Brighton
2012 Access to Humanities and Social Sciences at Varndean College, Brighton
2009 NCFE 1 Art and Design at City College Brighton and Hove
2005 Certificate in Life Coaching at Newcastle College
1988 BTEC First Diploma in Business and Finance at Grantham College
1987 English, Maths, History, Biology, French Studies at Walton Girls’ School, Grantham
2019 Climbing Wall Instructor Award at Mountain Training
2019 Step Up: Leading Workshops at Outside In, Brighton
2019 Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills at TQUK
2019 Working with Shame at PODS, Huntingdon
2019 Graphic Novels Real Life Stories at Phoenix Gallery, Brighton
2018 Trauma Centre Trauma Sensitive Yoga 20 Hour Foundation Workshop, London
2018 Supporting Survivors of Sexual Violence: Learning from Recent Research, USVreact at Sussex University, Brighton
2018 Graphic Novels Real Life Stories at Phoenix Gallery, Brighton
2006 Associate Certified Coach at International Coach Federation, London
2006 Certificate of Coaching Skills at Coaching Development Ltd, London