Julie Rafalski

Artist Statement

In her work, Julie Rafalski re-examines images from the past, recontextualising them by adding another layer of meaning. Underpinning her practice is a fascination with looking backwards at the past, with the knowledge that the past can never be accessed fully, yet is always constantly re-imagined, in the key of the present.

The materials Rafalski works with are fragments from the past- old book pages and magazines- items that perhaps "remember" the past, yet ones with whom we cannot communicate. Her work is an attempt at that communication, however incomplete.

Many of her collages use images that are sourced from art history books and encyclopedias and that document modernist artworks or architecture. She intervenes in these images in various ways, often by fragmenting the image, folding it, changing its scale, or playing with its display. Her collages constitute a remixing of material, forging new, playful connections and unexpected re-contextaulisations.

Rafalski's drawings show temporary structures that suggest folding screens, curtains or stage sets. They are captured in a moment of instability, as if about to fall flat. They are linked to the artist’s interest in the passage of time and the impossibility of fully accessing the past: the past is like a stage set- it suggests a certain reality yet that reality is only partially there, always ready to fall flat.

Her installations are made of architectural appendages that precariously inhabit a space. For these she uses fragile materials such as paper, inkjet prints or cellophane. Colour plays an important role: it is visceral force that firmly places itself in the present moment.