After a bold move from Brooklyn to Newburgh NY with her husband and daughter, artist Julie Tremblay found a new lifestyle sharing her time between horseback riding and creating a new body of sculptures strongly influenced by the Hudson river that runs just at the bottom of her studio. The constant stream of the water, the immensity of the flow is a direct inspiration for a new series of sculptures Julie is draping, fold by fold. This is an iteration of the work that Julie has started a long time ago when she was already draping and folding, metal meshes and remnants of dye cut bottle caps into floating human bodies, then into gigantic ethereal clouds. I find myself very inspired by Julie's work as it has a real connection to the draping world of a designer. The lightness of each sculpture and their cloud appearance are very feminine and poetic at the same time.
Thanks to Chase the horse and Gardnertown Farm stables
Thanks to Ms. Fairfax Cafe
I read somewhere that your sculptures mimic the gesture of dance movements. How would you describe your work and what influences you?
For the first 15 years in the studio, I made mostly figurative work in which I explored gesture and its symbolism as well as the suggestion of movement of the body. When I moved on to what many would call abstraction, some elements of the figurative work stayed in the work, the suggestion of movement being one of them.
You use industrial materials that look really stiff and cold, yet you model them to be extremely delicate, sensual, feminine and poetic. Can you tell us what was the starting point to the utilisation of metal sheets?
Yes it was a complete accident. I always have an eye out for interesting and unusual materials and objects and one day I stumbled upon a container full of tin plate sheets that were leftovers from bottle cap production. From there, one thing led to another and one material led to another. It’s like a big chain reaction.
I see a lot of very large scale sculptures. Did you always want to work in such large scales?
Sculpture is about scale and I like to explore all of them. I also love working in miniature scale, but you don’t get the agony and the ecstasy that you get when working in large scale.
Your sculptures a really powerful, by their presence because of the size and at the same time they seem so light. They look suspended in the space, like a cloud, or they feel as delicate as draped fabrics.
My bodies of work are always born from a curiosity for a material. First I manipulate it and see how it transforms and transcends itself. If I find it does indeed transcend its often humble industrial origin and if I find it has the power of being a good vehicle for what I am interested in, that’s when I develop an entire body of work with that material, often over several years. But the draping idea was inspired by this beautiful vintage pleated cape I have. One night I wore it and the day after I went to the studio and started pleating my aluminum mesh.
You have a very international career, and you have lived in multiple countries, what made you decide to you moved to Newburgh a few years ago, and how did it affect your art after spending so many years in New York?
There was a fantastic house in Newburgh that literally fell on our lap. Then we got to know Newburgh and some of its residents and we fell in love with it. Then I got a wonderful studio by the river and its aw inspiring views have become a tremendous source of inspiration. I was always interested in the meeting of nature and industry so being closer to nature, while remaining in an industrial city, is a perfect match.
Between your travels, your international exhibitions and the time you spend in your studio, you told us you rekindled with an old passion and picked up horseback riding again! You met Chase and totally fell in love with this horse, and I think it changed your life, right?
Yes, I didn’t think I would be so passionate about riding again, much less doing horse shows. I am a much better rider than I ever was and most importantly I have an understanding for the animal that I couldn’t have had as a teenager. This silent mutual comprehension that you can have with a horse is something very special. Its centering effect has spilled over into all the other aspects of my life.
One last thing, are there new projects you would like to talk to us about?
Be on the lookout for a Yuge installation at the Invisible Dog Art Center, in Brooklyn, in 2018.