Julie-anne Armstrong-Roper was born in Exeter, England and immigrated to Australia at the age of six, later to become an Australian citizen.
She spent her formative years in Frankston (a suburb of Melbourne) later moving to Mt Eliza on the eastern shores of Port Phillip Bay.
Although Julie-anne was rebellious at school she excelled at art and at an early age enrolled in Life Drawing classes at the local Grammar school, at the age of sixteen she returned to Europe for six months spending time on an art tour of Italy and France.
She continued to develop her art mainly in the drawing discipline for many years until she enrolled in painting classes at Prahran College in the 1980s under the tutorage of Howard Arkley. This period caused a re-appraisal of her work and she moved though the genre of the surrealist movement and figurative painting. Her fathers death in 2000 was a cathartic experience that led her to find her own style.
For the past six years, she has been exploring human emotions and spirituality though the use of landscape.
Her works are not purely landscape in most cases they are abstractions where she has used the weather as a metaphor for the emotive changes we experience through our lives. Using the sky and all its moods, not only to communicate her own emotions, but also to invoke an emphatic response from the audience.
Awards, Collections and Publications2015/2016‘The Mission to Seafarers Maritime Art AwardsFinalist Exhibition’The Mission to Seafarers, Melbourne2014‘The Heysen Prize for Interpretation of Place, Finalist Exhibition’Hahndorf, South Australia.2012/2013‘The Glover Prize Finalist Exhibition’,Evandale, Tasmania.69Fifteen Book. 69 Smith Street Gallery, Collingwood, Melbourne ‘The Mission to Seafarers Maritime Art AwardsFinalist Exhibition’The Mission to Seafarers, Melbourne ‘The Glover Prize Finalist Exhibition’,Evandale, Tasmania.2009‘Tattersall's Club Landscape Art Prize Finalist Exhibition’Tattersall’s Club, Brisbane.‘BSG General Art Prize Finalist Exhibition’,Brunswick Street Gallery, Fitzroy.2007/2008'Against the Weather-Arid Land. I' Acquired by Victoria University, Melbourne. 'Against the Weather-Arid Land, II' Acquired by Victoria University, Melbourne. 1997/2000‘Ten Pound Packages’Book of interviews and reproductions of the works acquired by the National Library of Australia, London.‘Coode Contained’ Book published by Footscray Arts Centre and acquired by Victorian Ministry of the Arts.Exhibitions2016'Colloquium-Lake Merrimu’ Solo Exhibition: 69 Smith Street Gallery, Collingwood.2015'Life is a Lonely Hunter’ Solo Exhibition: M16 Gallery, Canberra ACTFigment: Imagined Landscapes, Group Exhibition: Beth Hulme Gallery and Studio, Fitzroy North.’Little Wonders, Group Exhibition: Beth Hulme Gallery and Studio, Fitzroy North.2014‘Habitat Exhibition’, Group Exhibition: Beth Hulme Gallery and Studio, Fitzroy North. 2012'Incandescent’Solo Exhibition: 69 Smith Street Gallery, Collingwood.‘Soliloquy to the Landscape’ Solo Exhibition: Hawthorn Studio & Gallery, Hawthorn.2011‘Soliloquy, Sanctuary and Silhouette’Solo Exhibition: Meeniyan Gallery, Meeniyan, VictoriaHawthorn Studio & Gallery, ‘Inaugural Solo Exhibition’635 Burwood Road, Hawthorn.'Against the Weather-Arid Land’ Solo Exhibition 69 Smith Street Gallery, Collingwood,‘Fog Exhibition’, Group Exhibition: 69 Smith Street Gallery, Collingwood..‘Dialogue Exhibition’, Group Exhibition ESP Gallery, Marrickville, Sydney.2009/2010'Art in Public Places'City of Hobson’s Bay Williamstown.‘Time Flies Exhibition’ Group Exhibition: 69 Smith Street Gallery, Collingwood.2007/2008‘Ten Pound Packages’ Solo Regional Tour Wyndham Cultural Centre: Werribee, Wellington Cultural Centre: Sale, Williamstown Town Hall: Williamstown.'Against The Weather' Solo Exhibition: Fortyfivedownstairs, Flinders Lane, Melbourne.'Art in Public Places' City of Hobson’s Bay Williamstown. Melbourne.2004/2005 ‘Sea below Sky’, Solo Exhibition: Leongatha Art Gallery, Leongatha, Victoria‘In All Kinds of Weather’,Solo Exhibition: Fortyfivedownstairs, Flinders Lane, Melbourne.‘Hobson’s Bay Art Exhibition’, Group Exhibition: Town Hall, Williamstown.‘St Kilda Festival Exhibition’ Group Exhibition: Metropolis Gallery, St Kilda.2003'People and Place’ Group Exhibition: Gasworks Galleries, Albert Park.'9”x 4” Exhibition', Group Exhibition: Linden Gallery, St Kilda. 2000/2002 ‘The River of Mist’, Solo Exhibition: Gabriel Gallery, Footscray Arts Centre,'Ten Pound Packages’, Solo Exhibition: Australia House, London, ‘Ten Pound Packages’, Solo Exhibition: Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West, Maribyrnong.1998'Prima Facie' Solo Exhibition: C.U.B. Malthouse Gallery, Southbank, Melbourne.'Coventry' Solo Exhibition: Queen Victoria Womens’ Centre Gallery, Melbourne.'Prima Facie' Solo Exhibition: Fidama, Yarraville..1996/1997'Coventry'Solo Exhibition: Fidama, Yarraville. ‘On The Beach’Solo Exhibition: Gary McEwan Gallery. St Kilda.1994/1995Solo Exhibition: Deakin University, Toorak Campus. 1991/1992Solo Exhibition: Deakin University, Toorak & Rusden Campus
Exploring different moods of sea and skyWater, sea and sky have captivated artists for centuries and no doubt will continue to do so. They have been fascinating expressionist artist Julie-anne Armstrong-Roper for several years, which is why they have featured frequently in her recent paintingsHer work has been widely exhibited since 1991 especially in Melbourne, where she lives with her husband Mark in Yarraville. She also enjoyed a major solo exhibition in London a few years ago at Australia House.Julie-anne is now exhibiting new works, under the title "Above Sea Sky", at the Leongatha Gallery at the invitation of the outgoing exhibition co-ordinator Lerida Watt.Lerida, who leaves the post at the end of the year, has had a long association with Julie-anne in Melbourne. "Julie-anne's paintings are rich in color with a luminous quality that captures those special water and sky moods," Lerida said.The paintings easily evokes the elemental moods of South Gippsland with its fantastic skies in summer and winter, at dawn and dusk, and the grand atmosphere of the wild ocean hugging its shores.Julie-anne's early out put was figurative, but "faces started to drop out and eventually figures faded out of the works altogether"."From then on my work has become more expressionistic. Sometimes, with large paintings, I throw paint at the canvas, allowing it to be totally expressionistic."But I always make sure that at the finish the paintings are grounded, so that there are reference points for the viewer to hold on to."I am intrigued by how changes in sea, sky or weather can influence people's emotional state,"To me the sky and movements of the sea are some of the most powerful elemental forces in our lives. They can deeply affect the way we think and feel not only on a conscious level but also subconsciously."There is nothing like a blue sky to lift our spirits, whereas a grey and rainy one can have the opposite affect."Sea and sky not only influence our mood and emotions, they can also mirror them, and artist for centuries have used them as a metaphor for our state of mind."Both sky and water are transient. They change all the time. I've discovered that I am comfortable expressing myself in them. They evoke people's different moods and they express many of my own moods. A lot of myself is reflected in the paintings she said.The works at the gallery are oils on canvas and contemplative. The 'After clouds, fair weather' are four large canvases that take the viewer across from storm to rest, from water to sky, from turmoil to calm, or from war to peace in four metaphoric steps.Other paintings come in twos. For example 'Reflection' and Reflection 2', recall the complementary state of Ying and Yang.The 'Much at sea' and 'Last pale gleam are the only stand alone paintings and intriguing because of it. They can be about solitary confusion and loss. But the spirituality of the paintings won't be lost on the viewer, willing to go with the flow of the sea and sky - and explore one's own emotions toward them."The Star" Tuesday, September 27th 2005
Julie-anne has a deep attachment to the subject of landscape, there are parallel influences in her work from the nineteenth century English realist and romantic traditions, (Cozens, Turner, Whistler), the French impressionists, (especially Monet) and the traditions of both European and indigenous Australians. Nevertheless the work is more metaphysical than physical, she aspires to the elemental and engages concerns with light, colour, space and the infinite. A spirituality of space appears to underscore her paintings which either in their intimacy or in panoramic sequence can obtain a beautiful and authorative presence.
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