Julia's interest in collage comes from a willingness to up-cycle and reuse all discarded magazines, books and materials that she discovers lying around.
Giving life to surreal characters and landscapes, her conceptual thinking is only growing for and towards an art practice denunciating overconsumption, and giving a voice to waste.
Q. Tell us about yourself and how you became an artist...
A. My name is Julia Bancilhon, and I am a graphic artist currently based in London. I make collages and create patterns which I apply on wallpaper and textile. The patterns act as an extension for my collage work. When I was a kid, I would draw, and paint constantly. I carried on an interest with photography and collage throughout my teens, especially with things like social media and pop culture coming into my life. I’m not a very academic person but I always knew I wanted to either do design or something creative. I ended up studying a BA in Graphic and Media Design after I realised it was the best option for me to combine my passion for visual art and design.
Q. Describe your work in three words...
A. Eccentric, Intriguing, Harmonious
Q. When do you make your best work?
A. When the full moon is coming. I am joking - Whenever.
Q. What influences do traditional cultures have on your work?
A. My artistic thinking and practice are mainly looking at Modern day consumerism, overconsumption, waste and more specifically questioning how the cycle of life of a product can be rethought through Art. Although it has been used for more than a century in Art, with the Surrealist,and Dadaist, the tradition of Upcycling has been overshadowed by Consumerism. In my practice, I bring unwanted and discarded materials and objects to a new light, by taking them out of the initial context they were designed for, giving them a second life. By doing so I am addressing the following problematic to my audience: Can the need for overconsumption be satisfied through creativity?
Q. Silence or sound while creating? If sound, what?
A. It totally depends - I need total silence when I write.
But when I produce I need SOUND. Recently I have been listening to Gil Scott Heron 'Plug In, Turn On, Cop Out ‘ - the 1983 live, and to the lastest Lana Del Rey’s album, which are both really good. I am a fan of electronic music - ghetto house artists like Paul Johson, Dj Deeon, or on another note: Four Tet who is always a good one to listen to when I am a bit more quiet … To only name a few.
Q. Artist whose career you covet?
A. Yayoi Kusama - For her strength to overcome what life has thrown at her, and the ability to channel and translate her dementia into the fantastic artworks she produces. Also, the lady still practices despite the fact that she is 91 years old. If I make it to 91 with her ability to create I would be more than grateful!
Q. Is art making therapeutic for you?
A. There is definitely something extremely soothing about making art. It enables me to get rid of some tension and bring some joy and fun to most of the days I practice. Collaging is like unlocking a part of my mind which usually remains shut. I can experience great satisfaction when I am in the studio. However, this is a double edged sword - Some days, when the inspiration isn’t there and I force myself to create, I end up producing unsatisfying work, which leads to great anger and frustration.
Q. What are you most proud of?
A. The fact that I manage to be on so different projects at the same time. I manage to split myself between my artistic career , my role as Head of Design of a start up in tech, and the development of my own company, which I am looking forward to sharing with you in the upcoming months
Q. What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
A. Being a full time graphic artist and make a good living from it. Running a nomad worldwide exhibition/workshop on the wonders of Upcycling.
Q. If you could travel anywhere to create for a while, where would you go?
A. Mexico! I had the pleasure to experience living in Mexico City for 2 weeks back in 2018, in preparation for a group exhibition I was part of. This city is just incredible! The culture, the history and the food as well as its vibrant youth. All these would most definitely make me settle there if the opportunity came to me.
Q. What messages or emotions do you hope to convey to your audience?
A. Be grateful, responsible and creative for our Planet. Recycling, Upcycling and responsible-consumption are extremely fun. You just need to own it and not be afraid to think outside the box.
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