Julie Fountain’s work explores memory, place and social relationships. She uses personal and found photographs as stimulus for painting images on paper. These watercolour and gouache paintings are often carefully layered over time, sometimes years, as the artist finds inspiration in work that may have previously been rejected.
The subject is selected initially for its emotive value, either from the artist’s own experience or from the experience of others. Scenes often signify family occasions or moments of isolation and loneliness. Fountain explores the possibilities of extracting meaning from the transitory photograph and also from painting itself, it’s imperfect surfaces, the trace of the human hand and the tension between the figurative and the abstract.
She presents the images without framing to enhance their immediacy and allow the viewer to experience them as vulnerable objects. She says:
‘These paintings are a part of my daily life, alongside mundane household chores, teaching and childcare. I see beauty (success and failure) in these images but they are also restricted in as much as they are the result of snatching precious moments between other things.’