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Souvenirs by Julie Paterson


The Australian artist finds inspiration in the savage Australian bushfires in her latest exhibition. Text by Nicky Lobo.

The Australian bush can be deadly, but many still choose to remain living there, particularly in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. Fashion designer Jenny Kee is one well-known figure (see her home in Habitus 23, out now); another is Cloth artist Julie Paterson who has had a studio in Blackheath for 10 years.


Following devastating fires in October 2013, Julie met a fellow local, whose home in Mt Victoria had been destroyed. Julie was invited to pick through the debris for any possible pieces of interest. “It must have been heartbreaking for them. It was upsetting even for me, looking at the devastation caused by the fires,” says Julie. “And there I was picking through the charred remnants of their things and all the memories they held.”


Tobacco tines, a glasses case, a family member’s old hand mirror and a Teak dish, a staple item from the 1970s, were salvaged. They have become the canvas on which Julie has painted local mountain vistas, combining the majesty of the bush surrounds with the ominous knowledge of their destructive potential.


All watercolour landscape works are on wood or tin, sealed in polished beeswax. Hear Julie speak about her work at Hat Hill Gallery 2pm on Saturday 19 April.


Souvenirs: Blue Mountains landscapes on found tin and wood
Hat Hill Gallery
12 – 26 April

Julie Paterson