Julie Wills is an interdisciplinary artist working in the expanded field of sculpture, including installation, collage, performance, video and architectural interventions. Recent solo exhibits have been presented at Arlington Arts Center in VA, Hillyer Art Space in Washington, DC, Whittier College in Los Angeles, and Kohl Gallery at Washington College in MD. She has been an artist-in-residence at Jentel (WY), PLAYA (OR), The Hambidge Center (GA), and Pyramid Atlantic Art Center (MD), among others, and is the recent recipient of an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council. Her works are included in the White Columns Artist Registry in New York and the ICA Baltimore’s Flat Files Program.
In addition to her individual studio practice, Wills is the founder and director of China Hutch Projects, a domestic project space for contemporary art located inside her home. See more at www.chinahutchprojects.com.
My work in recent years has been inspired by the tools of desire: wishes, hopes, pleas for divine or cosmic intercession, and superstitious rites. These are the things we turn to when something is desperately wanted but cannot be achieved through hard work or other rational means. I have recently begun a new cycle of work, titled Foundry, that instead invokes the creation of something unknown, and good, from the remains of dreams that have broken. This new dream may be something altogether unseen or it may be a new form of the long-held vision, made perfect and strong by first melting down, as if by fire.
Much of my recent work incorporates a longstanding interest in text, signification, legibility and poetic language. I choose materials for their metaphoric or associative meanings; sandpaper, for example, contains a tactile recognition of its erosive function while thermostat wire suggests the activation or transmission of heat. I frequently draw imagery from celestial sources. The moon, stars and cosmos recur throughout in varying forms: the distant reaches of an infinite cosmos strain to reach their other halves. Individual stars fall from the sky, disrupting the known order of the universe. Through this imagery I explore constancy and mutability, current conditions, and hope for an unrealized but longed-for future.