When you walk into the Main Gallery to visit Beyond the bowl, one of the first things to catch your eye is Julie Bartholomew’s work LV Koppori. This work is laden with meaning – it has logos you recognise instantly – Coca Cola, Louis Vuitton, Zara, Versace and Gucci just to name a few – but it’s how Bartholomew has presented these logos that’s interesting. They are on ceramic koppori, sandals that are traditionally worn by geishas. This work presents not only an Eastern and Western perception of fashion but also modern and traditional views. It is works such as this which has made Bartholomew a standout in the field of ceramics.
Julie Bartholomew, LV Koppori 2018, porcelain. Photos courtesy of the artist.
Her practice navigates the boundaries of art and contemporary issues exploring consumer culture, the relationship between female identity and global branding, within the framework of Western and Eastern cultures. More recently Bartholomew’s work focuses on environmental issues; she is also an educator in ceramics. In February 2017, she was appointed Head of Ceramics Workshop, at the School of Art & Design, Australian National University in Canberra.
Bartholomew uses both casting and moulding to create these porcelain shoes. This means making plaster moulds from found objects, in this case, koppori, or hand formed prototypes, and casting with liquid clay.
‘Being inquisitive and asking questions is the beginning of learning about materials, processes and ideas, the essence of art making’. – Julie Bartholomew.
Bartholomew completed a PhD in 2006, Masters of Visual Arts in 1999 and previously, a Bachelor in Visual Arts from the University of Sydney. Bartholomew has been the recipient of the International Gold Coast Ceramics Award in 2006, four major Australia Council for the Arts Grants, the Tokyo Studio Residency, Australia-China Council Red Gate Residency in Beijing and the Asialink Taiwan Residency.
Bartholomew is a high profile artist that has exhibited both nationally and internationally in Japan, Taiwan, China, Korea and New Zealand. Her work is housed in many collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Shanghai Arts and Crafts Museum, China and the WOCEK International Ceramics Collection, Korea.
Image: Julie Bartholomew in her studio. Photos courtesy of the artist.
Most recently, Bartholomew was shortlisted as a finalist in the 2019 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award at Shepparton Art Museum (SAM). This award celebrates and encourages contemporary Australian artists working in the ceramic medium. Finalists receive funds towards the making of a body of work for exhibition. The winner will be awarded a $50,000 acquisitive cash prize and their work entered into the SAM collection. This is a testament and recognition to Bartholomew’s practice as a leading ceramicist.
Julie Bartholomew and nine other leading ceramic and glass artists can be discovered at Hurstville Museum and Gallery’s exhibition Beyond the bowl, open now until April 2019. Beyond the bowl highlights and celebrates the diversity of Australian contemporary ceramics and glass.
Bartholomew is represented by Sabbia Gallery, Sydney.
‘People – Dr Julie Bartholomew’, Australian National University, http://soad.cass.anu.edu.au/people/dr-julie-bartholomew
‘Julie Bartholomew’, Sabbia Gallery, https://sabbiagallery.com/artists/julie-bartholomew/
‘Julie Bartholomew’, Craft & design centre, https://craftact.org.au/blogs/membership-directory/julie-bartholomew
‘Greg Daly and Dr Julie Bartholomew’, Sabbia Gallery,
‘Julie Bartholomew – Educational resource’, Hurstville Museum & Gallery,
‘Beyond the Bowl Catalogue’, Hurstville Museum and Gallery, 2018.