*Featured photo: “Sway,Split,Sliver”, 2018, copyright Julia Bland
Translation by Marina Dlacic
Julia Bland, artist originally from Palo Alto, California, born in 1986, was trained at the Rhode Island School of Design and received her MFA in 2012 from Yale University.
A painter by training, Bland’s practice embraces the tradition of textile art by experimenting with materials such as wool, denim, linen and canvas to create works that feature contamination of painting and weaving.
“Rain, Burnt”, canvas, hand woven textile, linen and wool threads, ink, and oil paint, 64” x 61 ½”, copyright Julia Bland
Bland’s works are placed at the crossroads between two different traditions: Western culture, within which she grew up and was formed, and Moroccan culture, the result of the experience of life in Morocco where the artist learned the techniques of Middle Eastern weaving and Sufi discipline. Her works explore the fine line between abstraction and representation, geometry and symbolism, ornament and structure, creating layered and enigmatic compositions, the confluence of these two different influences.
“Brave Sister”, 2019, Burnt canvas, hand woven textile, linen and wool threads, ink, oil paint, 60 ½” x 61 ½”, copyright Julia Bland
Through weaving, cutting, sewing, dyeing and painting, Bland deconstructs and assembles the different materials to create new and layered images, maps that arise from a process of complex transformation and this is how a variety of textures, colors and geometric shapes converge in monumental textile collages in which elements of western fiber art and oil painting interact with traditional Islamic fabrics.
“Canyon”, 2020, hand woven linen textile, hand dyed linen, denim, canvas, silk, hand dyed Hudson bay coat and lining, linen and wool threads, ink, oil, paint, 119 x 83 inches, copyright Julia Bland
There are numerous awards to Bland’s work, prizes and scholarships including the Milton and Sally Avery Fellowship, the Carol Scholsberg Memorial Prize, the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust Travel Fellowship and the Florence Leif Award. He has exhibited with On Stellar Rays, The NYU Institute of Fine Arts, Miller, and Asya Geisberg Gallery in NYC, Vox Populi in Philadelphia, CES Gallery in Los Angeles, Porsesh Institute (Anahita Gallery) in Tehran, and Motus Fort in Tokyo.
“Blanket for the Heart’s Flight”, 2021, hand woven linen and wool textile, hand felted wool, and embroidered linen and wool threads, 59 x 39 inches, copyright Julia Bland