BORN 1989,​ NEW YORK, NY                                                                                                


The way that materials endure, deteriorate and re-emerge through time fascinates me. As a visual artist, I contemplate these patterns of persistence and decay through both individual studio work and teaching—exploring how objects physically change through time+space, and perceptually how images and meaning gel or slip away through looking+making.


Outside the studio, I collect objects that hold singular histories of time, place and person—35 mm slides, printed matter, household tools, clothing. Inside the studio, I repurpose these objects for new projects, using them as a source, or an actual material in the work. Sensitive to the increasing dominance of digital communication in our world, I use the U.S. Postal Service as a medium and site to collaboratively produce visual and text-based work, insisting on the urgency of person-to-person interactions across lived, geographic space. Using this range of materials and strategies, I make paintings, sculptural objects and installations that reclaim and reimagine the lives of these quotidian objects as they pass from hand-to-hand, place-to-place, generation-to-generation. 


My process is tactile. I start many pieces at once, work on them simultaneously, and finish at staggered points. I make some in the dark or at oblique angles, alternating lighting conditions and my body's orientation to the object as I make it. Some pieces may take multiple forms, or have multiple sides: front/back, flat/rolled, open/closed, horizontal/vertical. Others may be folded, dismantled and reassembled in a modular fashion.

My practice is based on consciously shifting my reference points, or allowing them to shift around me: light, weather, time and space. Meanwhile, the object's internal structure acts in ways I may never understand. I oscillate between the rigor of my own intentionality for an object and its inevitable collapse under material forces beyond me.

(C)opyright 2020 Julia Rooney.

All Rights Reserved.