Julie Maren



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48" x 48" Oil, pencil, acrylic, chalkboard paint on wood panel, 2015

Artist     |    Website


My work tells mythical stories through overlapping imagery and interwoven pattern over multiple panels.

As both a painter and a textile designer, my vocabulary of symbols, palette and pattern use is as much inspired upon the natural world as the simulation of nature into the patterns that we find in everyday decoration and fashion. I am also drawn to imagery sourced from Victorian illustration, the animal kingdom, science and mythology.

As a textile designer, I design on a graph, so each square equals a knit stitch. As I constantly zoom in and out of the patterns, microcosms and macrocosms reveal and patterns become their own worlds. Similarly, in my paintings, patterns weave between the imagery, connecting the separate parts. This informs the graph-like manner of my work, with multiple square panels composing larger whole. As I build layers in my paintings, the “graph” gains dimension as the paintings gain depth, and this is where my interest lies. I think of the graph/grid as the fiber behind what connects us all as humans. It becomes as multi-dimensional as we are, with our layers of stories interwoven from personal experiences and our emotional make-ups. Patterns and imagery emerge from below the surface, they dissolve into the shadows, they transform from flat to dimensional, they obscure and reveal, go from darkness to light. The story builds along with the layers, just as in life.

The work is an experiment in mutability—from the way that I begin a painting to the physical interchangeability of the end result. The storytelling function is further served by the work’s ability to generate different narratives, depending on how and which panels are assembled together.

Curiosity and experimentation drive my artistic practice. Currently, I am playing with creating space through depth and transparency as I continuously build up and excavate the many layers composing each painting. I am intrigued by the interplay of abstraction.