Julia Ousley​​

Artist Statement


I identify myself as an architect and sculptor, and I hold master degrees in both disciplines. My influences run from Michelangelo, Frank Lloyd Wright, Tony Smith and Frank Gehry to Sol Lewit, Maya Lin, Eva Hess, Antony Gormley, Kiki Smith and Petah Coyne. There are others, both conscious and subconscious to whom I owe my inspirations.

Although I still involve myself in architectural projects from time to time and sometimes I use methods and materials of traditional sculpture, but often my work is more contemporary, using materials unconventional to sculpture but common to architectural construction. I believe in venturing in new directions and have a favorite quote, which succinctly expresses the importance of that progression:

"As people, we should put our best efforts forward and put positive things on the table for the rest of the world.   The idea of copying the past has always been an anathema to me. How can you face your children if you tell them, "I don't have any new ideas." So, I've always strived to live within the time, find something new. There is a general tendency in the world to look for new ideas. And art is part of that search." - Frank Gehry
                                                                                                                               
I hear people say that they don't understand contemporary art. To me, those words explain it well. All that is necessary to know is that it is trying on new ideas, moving forward, learning from the past and bringing it along but refusing to remain stuck there.

I have moved on from careers in health care and architecture to make 3-D art. That history gives multi-layered focus to my work, which is often about that place where the human condition and the built environment or nature intersect. I frequently organize my work around grids with forms derived from architectural scale figures.  I use the history of sculpture as commemorative representation to play with work concerned with architecture/non-architecture and base/non-base. I also like to use economy of means, gaining mass with little materials, and most of my work comes apart for shipping and storage like KD (knock down) furniture. I usually  work alone in long periods without interruption and am adept at finding what I need to fabricate the notions I must translate to art. I try not to limit myself regarding ideas, materials or methods of fabrication. 

Mostly, I am doing what I want, enjoying what I do, and hoping that my every audience gets something to think about and enjoys it as well.

Julia Ousley