Home & Heart – local love stories

When the world closed down to travel in 2020, my mission became to find my muse at home. I set out to rediscover my neighbourhood, to open up my mental borders and ‘travel’ here.

“Our Place” Neocolor II and Luminance. 26 x 30.6 cm. March 2022

During my home wanderings – in all seasons – I came to appreciate our gorgeous birds living in this small corner of Western Australia. (They are easily missed if one isn’t tuned into them.) As my concentration on both my Fremantle neighbourhood and local birds deepened, I hardly minded that I couldn’t travel any more.

“The Prettiest Star” coloured pencils, 23 x 23 cm. September 2022

Apart from Fremantle, other places represented in this exhibition are Donnelly River, Araluen Botanic Park, Matilda Bay, Point Walter, Karnup and The Berry Farm in Margaret River.

“Transcendence” coloured pencil drawing, 28 x 41 cm.

In 2023 we may travel again; “Home & Heart – local love stories” is my visual response to when we couldn’t. In the last couple of years I felt gratitude and wonder as our unique local landscapes, colours, quality of light, and life, gently reminded me of their presence and solace.

“Iridescent Morning” 25.5 x 28.5 cm. September 2021

I am delighted to be showing my coloured pencil drawings alongside sculptures by my friend and fellow artist, Robyn Varpins. This will be our fifth exhibition together.

“Contemplating Dawn” clay, under-glaze, oil paint

Robyn Varpins writes – “I was rather pleased to not be able to travel due to Covid as I have always enjoyed being home more than anywhere else. I love this place.

“My Companion” clay, under-glaze, oil paint.

Our title really expresses how I feel. I nestled into my home and delved deeply into what it is that makes me love this place so much. It was a joy to “seek the sacred in the mundane” and notice anew the beauty all around me. It was a journey inward to explore my perceptions and attitudes towards “Home”.

“Looking for Birds” clay, under-glaze, oil paint.

I investigated our rich and varied connection to Nature, particularly the quiet space of our back yards and gardens. That private oasis is where one can fully be at ease and nourished by simply Being. I enjoyed becoming one with the garden (where does the garden end and I begin?) Here one may keenly appreciate our treasured native birds, as well as the friendship and love of the animals in our lives.

“Listening to the Dawn Chorus” clay, under-glaze, oil paint.

It took some time to translate the theme into clay forms that expressed my felt experience of loving this place. Each sculpture expresses one small corner of this huge theme. I really enjoyed adding oil paint to many of my clay pieces, as the rich colour makes them more exuberant and alive.”

This is just a taster. Please join us between 20 and 30 April at EARLYWORK to see our exhibition. We welcome you!

All the drawings destined for the exhibition can be seen here

Click here to listen to a 37 minute interview with Robyn and myself about our art exhibition.

8 thoughts on “Home & Heart – local love stories

  1. Sue Hadley

    How I wish I could be present at this show Julie and Robyn. These are exquisite drawings and the sculptures capture such relatable emotional expressions. I too loved the lockdown experience and enjoyed my wanderings through our wild places. In our own private cultivated garden spaces, they reflect us and express us as well as feed and delight us. I am reminded again in the midst of family chaos at present to find that place of Be-ing.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Ahh, I’m familiar with family chaos. It is Tara Brach who helps me with the place of Be-ing when I lose myself in doubts and drama. Thank you for your lovely words! I wish you could visit as well!!

  2. anna warren portfolio

    Putting together an exhibition requires a lot of planning and consideration, not just in practical terms but internal and emotional ones. Losing the muse that had been so inspiring to you because of Covid must have been saddening and confusing, but you made the most of finding joy in your own surroundings, and unexpectedly found new sources of inspiration. I think this is going to be a wonderful exhibition, there is much heart in it. Your work, Julie, meshes so beautifully with Robyn’s, they complement and enhance one another, even though the two of you have come from different places to reach this conclusion. I too would love to be there!

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hi Anna, I think finding a new muse after Venice was always going to be difficult. I very much like the fact that I can keep renewing inspiration with regular local adventures (ie to Araluen) rather than having to grab as much as I can in one go during an international trip.
      I too feel that my work is hugely enhanced by being in the company of Robyn’s work. Also we support one another emotionally during the fraught time of an exhibition. I doubt that I will ever NOT find exhibiting daunting!

      1. anna warren portfolio

        It is a stressful time – but there can be a lot of pleasure to be gained from talking to interested visitors. Having the mutual support of exhibiting with Robyn is a huge plus, doing it alone is something I wouldn’t contemplate!

      2. juliepodstolski Post author

        That’s very true, Anna. I take my journal each day as some very interesting interactions take place during an exhibition. It is good to then record them during the quiet times. And read the whole thing some years in the future.

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