The Artist is Present



white noise


Last Thursday, 4th September, my solo exhibition “Life is Beautiful” opened at Elements Art Gallery in Perth, Western Australia.  The four photos above were taken by my youngest daughter, Lucy, on her phone.  Emma Mahanay Bitmead (who is in the photo with me) opened my exhibition with a wonderful speech. Then I gave a small talk explaining how the exhibition got its name and I gave some insights into the drawings themselves.  The gallery was full of people.  I made them laugh.  It was quite a night!

Since then I have been going into the gallery each day so that I can talk to people who come in and answer their questions.  I very much enjoy talking to people who visit the exhibition.  I just wish that more people would come in.  Weekends are good but weekdays are so quiet.

While the exhibition is on I am completely unable to think about drawing anything new.  All my mental energy is taken up with verbal communication in the gallery.

One lady today told me that she didn’t know why but looking at my drawings made her feel like crying (in a good way).  Many people have had strong emotional reactions towards the art.  This is something worth waiting for.  I may have long periods of empty gallery time but when people come in and are visibly moved, the hours in the doldrums are suddenly worth it.


The artist is present.  Please come in.  Wednesday – Friday 11 am – 5.30 pm; Saturday – Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm.  131A Waratah Avenue, Dalkeith WA 6009.  Until 21st September. Phone: 0407 441 272.

ps: apologies to Marina Abramovic for using the title of her famous exhibition for my blog post title.

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14 thoughts on “The Artist is Present

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Stéphanie, people want to know about the pencils themselves; what type are they, do I use them with water, are they the same as pastels? They also want to know about the subject matter – especially they are interested in maiko and geiko. One question I get over and over is – how long does a drawing take to do. Funny – I can’t think of all the questions here, but there are so many.
      I have taken a selection of pencils into the gallery as well as the paper I use so that people can try the pencils out themselves. I also have one of Ann Kullberg’s books (CP Treasures Volume II) so that they can see what other artists do with coloured pencils.
      Oh – and I often get asked if I teach. I am afraid that my answer is no.

  1. occasionalartist

    Your exhibition looks beautiful Julie, congratulations. It is interesting to see your work mounted and hung, it gives them a different perspective and a sense of scale. So wish I could come. Karen

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Yes – that is one good thing about being posed in front of one’s drawings – and that is just what you say – that people who haven’t seen the works in real life can see their actual size as compared to a human being.

  2. anna warren portfolio

    The emotional drain, the highs and lows of exhibiting are far more onerous than the creation of the artworks, but it is a vital culmination of the work. Having people’s visceral responses validates why you do what you do. I can understand why every bit of you is consumed by being in the exhibition, leaving no room for artistic creativity. I hope at the end of it you will feel energised and inspired to launch into more of your beautiful work!

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      You are right, Anna. After all – I’m not even getting around to replying to letters! I almost feel like a real person who goes out to work each day – coming home in the evening tired out. Friday nights are good as I know that more people will be visiting the show in the weekend than there were throughout the week. Sometimes I am overcome by the indifference of the Perth world towards art. But I am saved by the few who come in and emotionally engage in what they are seeing.

      1. anna warren portfolio

        I think indifference to art is universal, but in Perth you are that bit more isolated. Just bless the people who are interested and are prepared to engage! They are out there. It’s proof of the quality of your work that you have achieved such impressive sales. Hang in there!

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