Julie Pereira has been exhibiting work for 15 years, in New England, South Korea, Belgium and primarily in Kyoto, Japan. Her work has been shown in venues such as Geoffrey Young Gallery, Kyoto City Museum, Art Space New Haven and Five Points Gallery. She completed her BFA in Textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2005 with honors. In 2005, Pereira was nominated as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow. She lived and studied in Kyoto Japan from 2006-2014 as a Monbukagakusho Scholar, starting as a Research Student at Kyoto Seika University in the fall of 2006, continuing on to complete her MFA in 2010 and her PhD in Fine arts in 2013. After completing her PhD, she was invited to work with curator Hironori Yasukochi in a three year emerging artist initiative that supported three group shows over the course of that time. In 2017, she self-published an artist book based on her series using stickers exploring the concept of infinity “From a Pool in the Garden of Yamato-no-Orochi.” Her burned paper work garnered recent attention as part of reviews for her solo show and a group show in local and online news publications in Connecticut. Originally from Simsbury, Connecticut, Pereira currently lives and works in New Hampshire, serving as part of the Visual Arts Faculty at New Hampton School.
Looking at a tree over time, leaves appear from the branch tips and the trunk gets wider. It emerges from seedling no smaller than the size of a finger, and then over time, it twists, forks and bulges, towering beyond my grasp. I became curious how this happens, from where does the force build? What are the small changes happening every moment that accumulate as a tree ages, and make it slowly disintegrate to dust? With these ideas and questions in mind I began to create my own work using slow processes of subtraction and accumulation.
For example, I am exploring subtractive processes in burning through walls of many thin layers of paper as a method of gradual erosion and excavation. Carving and drawing into and through the surface of these thin sheets, I use the gentle ember from a stick of incense to reveal the deeper layers. The burned areas create openings that allow the paper to move and breathe. The burning is an irreversible physical change that cannot be undone—a death. The breathing movement of the paper suggests an addition—life. Herein lies a beautiful paradox, simultaneous existence of life and death, of love and loss.
In additive processes, I am using tiny stickers as a unit to generate figures and systems. One sticker connects to another, building a pathway, or steps in time. When two stickers build off of one sticker, a forking path occurs, like two different options in time. With these pieces, I usually work with the same type of sticker, a set number of units or a range of sizes in the same shape. Through piling I ask, what can they become? How close to same can they be and still be different? Daily I practiced forming new aggregates with these same pieces, ever surprised by the array of different results- nearing infinite and getting closer.
Through my practice I am interested in casting aside pre-conceived notions of an end product. I often discover meaning through process. My works begins with experience, thoughts and questions, but remains directly responsive to materials and tools I create. Daily in the studio I explore different materials and work with color to intentionally create space and create meaning. The work is ultimately an engagement with the mystery of being. I’m interested what will result through careful attention at each step along the way.