Julia Holden is a graduate of Elam, School of Fine Arts and Monash University, Melbourne. Consistently experimenting with modes of representation and presentation, Holden has developed an innovative relational painting practice employing strategies focused upon encouraging public interaction, community connection and a wider social engagement.
Holden has been exhibiting regularly in New Zealand and Australia since 2011. She gained recognition for her 2017 Lyttelton Redux series, which reconnected people with the early history of Canterbury’s first port. Twenty-three portraits were accompanied by audio recordings of participating locals reflecting on their forbears when Lyttelton Redux was exhibited at the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch. There was also an installation and Walking Tour in the Lyttelton Township itself. In 2016 and 2017 performance became an important part of her practice. Draped Nude (Audrey Baldwin, after Henri Matisse), was performed at the Auckland Art Gallery. #WishYouWereHereChch, 5 billboard installations and postcard editions was also shown in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland in 2014.
In 2018 Julia Holden was Artist in Residence at Tylee Cottage in Whanganui and during the same year was highly commended for ‘Outstanding contribution to Heritage’ at the Canterbury Heritage Awards. In 2019 she was a finalist in the Wallace Art Award, and was awarded a grant from the Suffrage 125 Fund, Creative New Zealand.