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Juliet Rose

by Leonora Oppenheim in Culture on 18 October 2006

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The spare key, a couple of nails, ring pulls from drink cans, safety pins and more safety pins… For most, all those odd bits and pieces that gather in bowls and boxes and on tabletops are just the seemingly insignificant but endless debris of everyday life. For British artist Juliet Rose, clutter is the subject of her strikingly graphic paintings. Carefully arranging these inane objects—hairclips, combs, safety pins, ring pulls, keys, forks, nails—on the canvas she creates patterns that seem both familiar and abstract. The contrast between the textured image and the smooth lacquered surface of the paintings only serves to make the objects more mysterious and distant. Juliet describes her work as "concerned with the mundane manufactured debris of what it is to be human." She explains, "I use objects that may easily be left behind or abandoned, but can equally become totems of emotional significance. Inspiration comes from testimonies, photographs and archival material from refugees, people who have had to leave their homes behind. These objects in some small way explain our individual 'human-ness' as well as our part in a larger society, the cement of our routine existence." You can see Juliet's surprisingly powerful and intimate work at the Wimbledon Open Studios in London, from 30 November 2006-3 December 2006 and she will be showing at Art Miami in the U.S. from 5-8 January 2007. See more images here.

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