Julia Holden wins the Wallace Arts Trust Vermont Award

Julia Holden, Self Portrait (Mark and Paul Rayner), 2019, Archival pigment print, 1750 x 1412mm

The Wallace Arts Trust Vermont Award
Julia Holden receives a three-month residency at the Vermont Studio Centre in Vermont, USA.
Judges’ comment: “The arresting use of the portrait and figure in this work stood out to the judges and made them keep looking. It combined sculpture, performance and photography into a diptych that captured personality and the human condition. It fused meaning and context in a probing way and asks us to examine the subject, the self and the viewer. The work is unsettling and curious – it gets under your skin.”

Julia Holden is a New Zealand artist based in Christchurch since 2012. Julia’s arts practice foregrounds
painting in multi-disciplinary projects combining painting with performance, photography, sound and film.
Consistently experimenting with modes of representation and presentation, she has developed innovative
relational painting practices employing strategies focused upon encouraging public interaction, community
connection and a wider social engagement. Julia Holden graduated BFA at Elam, School of Fine Arts,
Auckland, in 2007 and gained Master of Fine Arts by Research from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia,
in 2011. While in Australia Holden was a finalist in The Churchie, 2011, exhibited in SafARI 2012, and was a
finalist in The Doug Moran National Portrait Prize in 2011 and 2012.

“The Self-Portrait (Mark and Paul Rayner) diptych is part of an on-going series entitled I’m Your Fan, a project
originating in 2014. Using the whole body as the living ‘canvas’, I’m Your Fan considers the artist-self in relation
to an artist’s primary influences or artistic heroes. The photographic works highlight connections between
artists and artworks as past and present mentors, paying homage to the ways in which artists connect with
certain artworks in open-ended visual conversations. Continuing this body of work and adding a humorous
twist to the idea of the self-portraiture, the dual Self-Portraits are modelled on original ceramic works by Paul
and Mark Rayner respectively. The artists are well-known fixtures in the artistic fabric of Whanganui, and
proprietors of the Rayner Brothers Gallery on Glasgow Street. Their highly personal ceramic works have become entangled with Holden’s own practices to be reimagined as life-sized performance/sculpture-paintings.”