Archive: Issue No. 95, July 2005

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Julia Rosa Clark

Julia Rosa Clark

Julia Rosa Clark

Julia Rosa Clark with SLUICE
Sleuth/Rixdollar, 1997
Mixed Media installation

Julia Rosa Clark

Julia Rosa Clark
I Want To Carry Everything With Me For Always, 1997
Mixed Media installation

Julia Rosa Clark

Julia Rosa Clark
Cold Comfort, 2000
Mixed Media including Found Print, lights

Julia Rosa Clark

Julia Rosa Clark
I've Waited Hours For This, 2003
Skateboard ramp, young boys

Julia Rosa Clark

Julia Rosa Clark
Young Lovers, 2004
Found paper houses, polystyrene, paper, nylon cord

Julia Rosa Clark

Julia Rosa Clark
All the Love in the World Tonight, 2004
Polystyrene, steel pins, paper cutouts, glitter, acrylic paint

Julia Rosa Clark

Julia Rosa Clark
Crazy Bitch, 2004
Tull, polystyrene, paper cutouts, pins, ultraviolet paint, fluorescent lights

Julia Clark
by Linda Stupart (July, 2005)


Julia Rosa Clark works with elements of throwaway nostalgia to create witty, poignant collages and installations. Her works function both to incite personal longing and to deconstruct general, though often specifically South African, cultural truths as learned through the information systems of the public education system, popular media and family legend.

Trained at the Michaelis School of Fine Art as a printmaker, Clark's media range from suitcases to paintings to skateboard ramps and pretty boys. Her most recent body of work, A Million Trillion Gazillion, involves obsessive, meticulous composites of cutouts from educational and popular cultural sources sprinkled with glitter, neon strings and UV lights.

Just back from a hugely successful show at Liste Art Fair in Basel, this young artist has consistently shown that she is capable of innovative, humorous and surprisingly delicate artworks. Her involvement in Public Eye as well as her roles as an active and skilled designer and respected teacher and lecturer place her firmly within the vibrant Cape Town art scene, and make her an influential and exciting figure therein.


"The final pieces / spaces I make usually result from a lengthy process of collecting, shredding, sorting and altering of found objects and images. This process is a kind of protective filter, a device for coping with an overload of information or emotion. The timeliness and repetition of the action allows for a rational distance to grow between myself and the subject matter.

"In earlier work, this device helped me to overcome overwhelming new sensations (such as lust or loss) and make visual analogies for these experiences. More recently, the process has opened up a way of navigating the world of information, and re- examining information about the world. In A Million Trillion Gazillion I started to develop an understanding of the changing nature of knowledge systems. My introduction to information systems took place at school - a common experience- where ideas about the world were formed through interaction with, amongst other learning material, idealised and seductive illustrated books."

"By returning to the visual coding of the classroom (such as cutting up these illustrated books), I was able to explore the humorous and tragic incongruencies of an idealised worldview with the failure and realities of our contemporary world. I tried to work the securities of childhood against the insecurities of my 21st C adult experiences. The work is usually made of cheap, dispensable materials that allows each piece to be made and remade a few times, creating a spontaneity and reflecting the action of 'figuring out' associated with graphs, charts, and classroom displays."


Clark has just taken down her exhibition of works from A Million Trillion Gazillion at the Liste Art Fair in Basel. The body of work, which was shown at Joao Ferreira at the end of last year, consists largely of obsessive constructions assembled with cutouts from illustrated children's books, polystyrene and copious amounts of glue and neon tape; all imbued with a wry nostalgic kitsch. The pieces were made with the help of a workforce of hot young art students over bottles of beer and endless showers of glitter and paper at Julia's infamous 'cutting parties'. See Reviews


Clark's work I've Waited Hours For This, also known as the skateboard ramp that made Paul Edmunds' knees go shaky, was one of the most successful and memorable pieces at the 2003 Softserve show, 'YDEsire'. Incidentally, the title was taken from one of the artist's favourite Cure songs. See Reviews


The collaborative installation Sleuth/Rixdollar at 'Graft' for the second Johannesburg Biennale in 1997 was an impressive (particularly considering the members of the collaborative were yet to graduate) and complex exposition of issues of security, identity and the abandoned spaces in the tumultuous South African terrain.


Though Clark does not have any specific projects in mind as yet, she is planning to return to producing installation-based works. She also plans to continue making use of her assistants in upcoming projects. Bigger, better cutting parties are definitely in store.


Born 24 August 1975 in South Africa
Lives and works in Cape Town


University of Cape Town:

2001 - 2004 Masters Degree in Fine Art

1998 Higher Diploma in Education with distinctions in Subject Method (Art) and School Experience

1994 -1997 BA (FA) With distinction in Studiowork and Printmaking

Solo Exhibitions

Work from A Million Trillion Gazillion at 'Liste' at the Basil art fair

Exhibition of Masters work, A Million Trillion Gazillion at Joao Ferreira

Selected Group Exhibitions:

'YDEsire' st The Castle of Good Hope Cape Town
WASLA workshop Open Day Sinai, Egypt

'Emergency' Bell-Roberts Gallery Cape Town
'SoftServe2 (Art at Play)' South African National Gallery Cape Town
'Cast' Group Show, Bronze Age Foundry, Cape Town

Unplugged Market Theatre Gallery, Johannesburg
Committee's Choice Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town

IDASA Spin Street Gallery Group Opening Show, Cape Town
Family Values, Sandton Square Gallery, Johannesburg Printexchange '98, First South African Printmaking Conference, Grahamstown

Sleuth/Rixdollar on Graft, 2nd Johannesburg Biennale, South African National Gallery Cape Town (collaboration)

Sluice at The Castle of Good Hope Cape Town (collaborative)

Other Projects:

Visual Design for Constructus (music collaborative)
Exhibited lights (Luminary) on Aisle 5 Exhibition, Cape Town
Assistant Co-ordinator for Beyond the Gallery Public Art Conference, held in March, Cape Town

First Luminary Sales Show (decorative lights), Cape Town

Set design and slide images for Voice Made Night, a Magnet Theatre Production, Artscape & The Arena Theatre
CD and poster design for Steady On by Moodphase5
Various projects for Levi's (Vintage Jeans Artist Project, Window Installations, Rivett Windo design etc.)
Night Light at The Jam, one off installation in collaboration with Lisa Brice and Adam Lieber
Illustrated Summer Haiku by Sue Clark

Collaboration with David West for some of his range and promotional materials for South African Fashion week
Collaboration with Crispian Plunkett for Elle Fashion shoot (White Nights) Cape Town

Décor assistant/ co-ordinator Mother City Queer Projects, Cape Town
Various illustration jobs for Snail Press (Poetry journals and book)


Alan Alborough
(July 2000)

Jane Alexander
(July 1999)

Siemon Allen
(June 2001)

Willie Bester
(Aug 1999)

Willem Boshoff
(Aug 2001)

Conrad Botes
(Dec 2001)

Andries Botha
(April 2000)

Wim Botha
(April 2003)

Kevin Brand
(June 1998)

Candice Breitz
(Oct 1998)

Lisa Brice
(Jan 1999)

Jean Brundrit
(March 2004)

Angela Buckland
(Mar 2003)

Pitso Chinzima
(Oct 2001)

Marco Cianfanelli
(Aug 2002)

Peter Clarke
(Sept 2003)

Steven Cohen
(May 1998)

Keith Deitrich
(July 2004)

Paul Edmunds
(Feb 2004)

Leora Farber
(May 2002)

Bronwen Findlay
(April 2002)

Tracy Lindner Gander
(April 2004)

Kendell Geers
(June 2002)

Linda Givon
(Dec 1999)

David Goldblatt
(Dec 2002)

Thembinkosi Goniwe
(Oct 2002)

Brad Hammond
(Jan 2001)

Randolph Hartzenberg
(Aug 1998)

Kay Hassan
(Oct 2000)

Matthew Hindley
(Sept 2004)

Stephen Hobbs
(Dec 1998)

Robert Hodgins
(June 2000)

William Kentridge
(May 1999)

Isaac Khanyile
(Nov 2001)

David Koloane
(July 2003)

Dorothee Kreutzfeld
(Jan 2000)

Terry Kurgan
(Aug 2000)

Moshekwa Langa
(Feb 1999)

Chris Ledochowski
(June 2003)

Kim Lieberman
(May 2003)

Mandla Mabila
(Aug 2001)

Churchill Madikida
(May 2004)

Veronique Malherbe
(June 1999)

Mustafa Maluka
(July 1998)

Thando Mama
(June 2004)

Senzeni Marasela
(Feb 2000)

Brent Meistre
(May 2005)

Santu Mofokeng
(July 2002)

Zwelethu Mthethwa
(April 1999)

Samson Mudzunga
(Oct 2004)

Thomas Mulcaire
(April 2001)

Brett Murray
(Sept 1998)

Hylton Nel
(Feb 2002)

Sam Nhlengethwa
(Oct 2003)

Walter Oltmann
(July 2001)

Jay Pather
(Dec 2004)

Malcolm Payne
(Nov 2002)

Tracy Payne
(March 1998)

Peet Pienaar
(Dec 2000)

Jo Ractliffe
(Mar 1999)

Robin Rhode
(Nov 1999)

Colin Richards
(Aug 2003)

Tracey Rose
(March 2001)

Claudette Schreuders
(Sept 2000)

Berni Searle
(May 2000)

Berni Searle
(Jan 2003)

Usha Seejarim
(May 2001)

Penny Siopis
(Sept 1999)

Kathryn Smith
(Dec 2003)

Dave Southwood
(March 2002)

Doreen Southwood
(Sept 2002)

Greg Streak
(Feb 2001)

Guy Tillim
(Jan 2005)

Clive van den Berg
(Nov 1998)

Hentie van der Merwe
(Mar 2000)

Strijdom van der Merwe
(Jan 2002)

Storm Janse van Rensburg
(June 2005)

Minnette Vári
(Feb 1998)

Diane Victor
(Feb 2003)

Jeremy Wafer
(Nov 2000)

James Webb
(Aug 2004)

Sue Williamson
(Nov 2003)