Pallant House Gallery and Outside In are delighted to announce Chichester artist Julia Oak has been awarded their 2020 co-commission.
The opportunity, which attracted many applications from across the world, will now see Julia’s work exhibited at the gallery in the new year alongside that of renowned artist Madge Gill, (All Souls: The Outside In Co-Commission – Dates to be confirmed – watch this space for further announcements).
Simon Martin, director of Pallant House Gallery, said it was heartening to see such strong submissions, adding that he and his fellow selectors were drawn to Julia’s proposal due to both her ‘beautiful and distinctive drawings’ and her deep personal engagement with the work of Madge Gill.
Simon explained. “Julia spoke of how she had become aware of the similarities between the intuitive ways in which she and Madge Gill work, and how this had helped her own creativity to flow. She spoke of being inspired by the intensity, passion and complexity of Gill’s work and how it had grown out of her process.
“This will be Julia’s first solo show and she told us that the opportunity will fill ‘a long-term dream’ and give her the confidence to promote her own drawing. I was most particularly struck by her saying that the co-commission ‘acknowledges what I am, who I am and what I want to do.”
As well as feeling a ‘deep resonance’ with the life and works of Gill, Julia also has a special affinity with the exhibition space – Pallant House Gallery’s Print Room.
“With my drawings I would have fantasies about where they might be exhibited and I always thought they would only work in the Print Room,” she admitted. “You think about the people who went before you, their essence remains. To be in a space that people you admire and respect have been is an awesome feeling. The fact you are treading a path that has been trodden by them – and perhaps that people will be inspired in turn is just incredible. I hope that it shows, even in the face of adversity, you can achieve.
“Everybody needs a chance to demonstrate their ability and unique creativity. Sometimes lived experiences hamper or deny access to opportunities to showcase talent and I believe this co-commission goes towards addressing the inequalities in contemporary art.
“I am looking forward to immersing myself into the process of drawing from a place deep inside of me with the knowledge that others will be able to see my conversations on paper and add their voice too.”
About the co-commission: All Souls is the second co-commission by Outside In and Pallant House Gallery. The commission invited applications from artists (or groups of artists) that face barriers to the artworld to create a new body of artwork that explores and responds to the work of artist Madge Gill. The applications were judged by a panel of selectors – Simon Martin, Liam Ashworth, a digital artist who has been supported by Venture Arts for the past five years, Natasha H, Outside In artist and Samantha Lackey, head of collection and exhibitions at the Whitworth, the University of Manchester.
The co-commission, which is funded by the John Booth Charitable Foundation, will see the successful applicant receive £5000 and the support of an artist mentor to create work which will be displayed alongside Madge Gill’s work from Pallant House Gallery’s permanent collection and from private collections.