The ‘Heath Paintings’ have been produced in a new studio in the Blue Mountains, where painter Julie Harris is based. The area has had a profound influence on these new works and Harris continues to explore her interest in the processes of abstraction and abstract space.
These paintings are hugely physical and more like an evolving performance. They are taken in and out of the studio according to the weather, the heat and the strength of the sunlight. The humidity and temperature influence the way in which the paint forms and mingles on the canvas. Harris paints on them horizontally and vertically and tosses and turns them. She uses methods of slippage and erasure, staining and washing, scrubbing and scrapping. Chance plays a pivotal role in her process.
As a work builds up it takes on its own identity or voice and its own internal logic is found. In the procedure of making her paintings Harris finds they become intuitively about a place: the place of memory, the place of music and the place of mood. Often she builds up her paintings in an all-over action allowing jewel-like pigments to seep through veils of wash. Many of her forms are abstracted from the landscape and often mimic a play of light layered over the whole surface, creating a synthesis of energy and rhythm. This all-over quality creates an ephemeral but powerful ontology of colour and she is fascinated by those intangible qualities to be found in the air, wind and weather.