Exhibition by Julia Engelhardt
Stables Café, Blendheim Palace, Woodstock, GB
08.01. – 30.04.2022
Exhibition view, photo by the artist
ETN member Julia Engelhardt currently showing a special exhibition with the title Weavescapes.
“I always wanted to paint. I came to weaving later in life. It is now a passion” Julia Engelhardt
This exhibition presents several different series of woven artworks by Engelhardt which explore the painterly and sculptural qualities of yarns and fibres. Engelhardt describes how she was ‘set free’ by discovering Sheila Hicks’ ‘minimes’, and learnt to sketch and paint with yarns. She has been working on 8 and 16 inch shaft looms since 2013, creating poetic pieces - ‘weavescapes’. The yarns and fibres are for Engelhardt lines of paint, each with its own colour as well as textural characteristics. “I often leave the materials I use hanging off the sides as I think it is interesting for people to see what they are and how each one ‘behaves’ when unconstrained.”
This expressiveness and somewhat liberal approach is at the core of Engelhardt’s work. She is constantly pushing the boundaries of her medium to achieve what she calls ‘vivid expression’. “As an artist I am exploring the painterly and sculptural qualities of yarns and fibres within the relatively constraining context of a shaft loom [...] Above all, I am preoccupied with bringing movement to the rigid angular grid set by the shaft loom, often sacrificing the traditional stability of cloth for maximum expressiveness, giving yarns the space to ‘breathe’.” The inherent contradiction between the solid form of the weaving loom and organic, unruly yarns and fibres is mediated by Engelhardt’s acute understanding of her medium.
Engelhardt cites Paul Klee and Anni Albers among her inspirations and credits her use of hand manipulated Leno to the 2018 Albers exhibition at Tate. “I love it for the fluidity that can be achieved”. Other techniques used in the Blenheim exhibition include Honeycomb (also known as Waffle Weave), Lampas, Brocade, Cramming and Spacing and an old Peruvian technique, Intermesh.
About the artist
Julia Engelhardt’s background is in arts publishing and exhibitions. Clients included Laurence King, the Hayward Gallery, the Design Museum, the V&A and Viking Penguin. Her work involved a lot of visual research and curation. As a result, she has a huge store of imagery in her head – colours, textures, proportions, visions, sensations – which get distilled and feed into her woven pieces. Julia lives and works in Oxford and is interested in bringing movement to the rigid angular grid set of the shaft loom, giving yarns the space to breathe and to weave pieces of art that feel like objects that have come to life.
About Zuleika Gallery
Founded in Oxford in 2015, Zuleika Gallery's focus is on Modern British and emerging contemporary art. Founder Lizzie Collins is a history of art graduate of UCL, and a postgraduate of the Courtauld Institute in London. She was a director and auctioneer at Bonhams, and a specialist at Christie’s in 20th Century British Art, before founding Zuleika Gallery. The gallery operated in the heart of St James’s from 2017- 2021 and in January 2022 will move to take up permanent residence in Cromwell Place, South Kensington. The Woodstock gallery opened in August 2020. The building, which dates to the early 17th Century, is next to The Oxfordshire Museum, opposite the historic Bear Hotel and a short walk from the town entrance to Blenheim Palace, home to the Blenheim Art Foundation. The gallery is committed to making art accessible and caters for both the entry level collector and the connoisseur. It also offers bespoke art advisory services for private or corporate collectors.
The Stables Café, Blenheim Palace
Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1UL
More information on the exhibition: https://zuleikagallery.com/weavescapes/
More information on Julia Engelhardt: https://juliaengelhardt.co.uk/
A Very Tidy Mind, 2021, cotton, silk, tencel, 24 x 18 cm, photo by the artist
Fleeting Moment, 2020, cotton, bamboo, nylon, 22 x 16 cm, photo by the artist