Showing the potential for both rational and intuitive thought, Julia Paull’s photographs and works on paper trace an arc between gestures of abstraction to documentation of tenuous and contrived relationships with animals in the natural world. Her work reflects an interest in the physical manifestations of the human condition as experienced bodily and psychologically. A Los Angeles based artist and Associate Professor of Practice at the USC Roski School of Art and Design; Paull earned her MFA in photography from the California Institute of the Arts.
In the place of an artist statement below is a poem I wrote while at SFAI that touches on the motivations for the works made in residence.
Who weeps the changes in the creek?
Who remembers the sound?
Lack becomes absence and absence drowned.
Bringer of Death
Delivers its warning mingled in moisture
Emptying lakes pools rivers streams
Ecological wonders unseen.
In unknowing we falter and fail and fall
Our love ties weakened
Soon we crawl
Turning to our devices
Unnamable anxieties meet altered landscapes un-breathing.
I dream of spaces ever consoled
Bits and pieces gathered whole
Creeks calm waters sooth.
The touch of anti gravity
Of floating, of hearing our friends
Call to one another at day’s end.
I continue to be grateful for SFAI’s support of my practice. By focusing on water, so essential for all life forms, a yearlong dialog, both in the studio and within the SFAI community unfolded. My time in residence allowed for visits with scientists in the field working to conserve frog habitat in rivers and ponds, the use of the gallery as a testing ground for a combination of thoughts around critically endangered frogs and their potential to produce new life forms, and the space and time to produce a new body of drawings derived from the experiences of spending time in rivers looking at frog eggs. Additionally being at SFAI lead to the opportunity to dance with Choreographer Falon Baltzell in a performance on Water Catchments. SFAI fostered a diversely rich community of artist and activists to discuss water, art, and political agency with. And when all occupations of making needed rejuvenation, walking in the beauty of New Mexico never ceased to offer new depths of being. Thank you SFAI for your continued support in fosters the arts and the quality of our shared humanity.