Julia Thaxton

LIQUID GRIDS

17th August to 31st October 2021

Julia Thaxton

“I love grappling with the paint's tendency to ignore guidelines, so I use techniques and materials to make the flow of the paint less predictable. I want to explore the spaces that fall outside clear definition or explanation, and when I'm making work I'm usually seeking an image that is ambiguous, something that can't be pinned down.”


A recurring theme in Julia’s work are the possibilities of multiple frames within a painting, and the blurring of boundaries or edges. An image is constrained by its edge, but there are flexible possibilities around where that edge lies, and the framing of an image invites consideration of what is inside and what is beyond its scope.


“When I see a painting I like, I always look at the edge of the canvas to see if there are clues about how it came to be, snippets of an earlier version. The drips of the paint, the accidental smudges, can contain as much poetry as the central image. I’m interested in what is beyond the edge, what is underneath when paint is scraped away, what is revealed when a veneer is peeled off.”

The paintings in this collection were made with water-based or water-soluble materials, as well as iron and copper powders, graphite, chalk, vinegar and salt.


Growing up in the commuter-belt of London, Julia found creative inspiration on family trips to the Atlantic coast of France each summer. Observing that salt-sodden landscape led to a love of weathered surfaces, from warped and swollen timber to paint peeling from corroded steel.


When she moved to Oxford in 2014, Julia maintained a connection to the elements by swimming in the rivers around the city, and water remains a recurring theme in her work. Her paintings revolve around how we perceive and relate to the people and places around us, and the accumulation of layers, as it applies both to people and paint.