Friday, 29 November 2013


Federico Vinciolo, a sixteenth-century lace-maker and pattern designer attached to the court of Henry II of France, defined lace as “the invention of a goddess and the occupation of a queen”.  On the other hand, Lori Howe, a lace maker, states that “lace is as much about the space between the threads as it is about the threads themselves”. The same could be said about the amazing paper artwork delicately created by the fairy hands of Julie Dodd.

Deeply concerned about our consumption habits and environmental responsibility, Julie Dodd mainly uses recycled magazines to produce her stunning art pieces, since she finds them disposable products in our society. Furthermore, they are a clear evocation of the deployment of forests made with the purpose of producing paper, therefore fully serving her intention of drawing awareness to this problem and to our involvement in the destruction of trees and the resulting impact on climate and the planet.

In the artist’s own words, her “artwork is based on repetition and inspired by patterns and shapes found in Nature”, which she uses to “mimic life, growth and regeneration”. Even the names of her different collections of works reflect Dodd’s concern for Nature: ‘Eggs’, ‘Blood Cells’, ‘Blood Streams’, ‘Flesh’, ‘Cells’.

All the mentioned collections are made of uncommon and beautiful art pieces, generally produced in multiples – as most things appear in Nature – to emphasise this connection to Nature. In fact, and probably owing precisely to this characteristic, they achieve an intriguing and thought provoking effect on viewers.

Among all of Julie Dodd’s collections, ‘Pores for Thought’, in their refined and laboriously achieved beauty, actually resemble the most delicate lace work, drawing their inspiration from the pores in trees. Curiously, these art pieces evoke yet another connection to that “invention of a goddess” that lace is and which was once sublimely put into words by fashion creator and icon Coco Chanel in 1939. She then said that she “consider[ed] lace to be one of the prettiest imitations ever made of the fantasy of Nature” and that “lace always evokes (for her) those incomparable designs which the branches and leaves of trees embroider across the sky”. She further stated that she considered that “no invention of the human spirit could have a more graceful or precise origin”.

In fact, Julie Dodd’s artworks do justice to Nature, to her concerns about environment and to this comparison between lace and Nature. They, therefore, achieve a unique status and occupy a remarkable position within the art world by materialising this connection through the use of a very different and unexpected material – recycled magazines – thereby also becoming “the invention of a goddess” crafted as “the occupation of a queen”.

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