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Julie Ann Haines is a Dublin based visual artist and printmaker from Belfast. She studied Fine Art Painting at Manchester and Norwich Schools of Art and taught art in secondary schools and museums for several years alongside continuing her own work.


Her practice focuses on moments of stillness in the overlooked corners of urban spaces, close to where she works and lives. She is motivated by light and drawn to unremarkable places on the edge of the busy thoroughfare of life,- sometimes outdated, in need of refurbishment or about to be knocked down. She is aware of an impermanence around these structures, the ebb and flow of life that has passed through them, the cycle of things ending and things beginning. She passes her subjects daily, in early morning or evening when all that is left are the traces of those who have passed through. Their flaking paintwork and broken edges hint at a human history yet their empty and unpeopled status seems to accentuate the silence that envelops them. Always the presence of strong sun and still long shadows allows her to contemplate and celebrate their deeper beauty. Her part in this cycle is just another observer. These urbanscape compositions study the familiar stuff of everyday living,- empty chairs, lines of washing, drawn curtains. They ask questions about the structures we build and objects we collect and the traces we leave behind. 


Julie Ann originally trained in Fine Art painting and first developed a serious interest in printmaking when she moved to Dublin and started making multi plate colour etchings at the Graphic Studio Dublin. She became a full time member of that studio and etchings and monotypes currently comprise a large part of her body of work. She spitbites her copper etchings entirely, painting acid onto copper plates to create deep tones and rich darks, checking the aquatinted surfaces diligently to control the outcome. It is a focused and intensive method and has endured for centuries. There is a rich layering of colour in each print. The focused process and layering of colour in both etchings and monotypes seems to echo something of the patina of time that attracted her to these forgotten structures in the first place. 



Julie Ann's work is in the collections of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Dept. of Finnance, Northern Ireland, National Gallery of Ireland, National Library of Ireland, Office of Public Works, the British Library, Fingal and Meath County Councils and the University of Limerick


 One winter morning, at 8am, a brilliant sun shone across the façade of a neglected house, casting cool blue shadows. And while all other plant forms were dormant and withered in their pots and baskets, her attention was drawn to one scarlet flower that remained defiant of the season. It was cleanly illuminated by the crisp, yet psychologically warming, December sunlight. From the ordinary, the extraordinary was created, namely Red Geranium, Baskin Lane one of the largest and technically challenging prints Julie Ann had made to date.   Following this work, Julie Ann began to look more closely at the incidental, the often-overlooked detritus of human lives, drawn to views that were starkly illuminated by casting sunlight. She preserves the pervasive poetry of faded plastic flowers, misaligned flower pots, and sweeping curtains of mismatched washing. Returning to the same source, apartment balconies near the studio, she revelled in the ever-changing display of new washing, rearranged objects, all spot lit and shadowed by a shifting sun.   Julie Ann’s work finds beauty in the private spaces of others. Her work has a cinematic quality, we know we are seeing a solitary fleeting moment captured by the artist, these moments will never happen again. The empty chair, prettifying flower pots, are presented in all their aesthetic glory, testifying to a human presence, but one that is absent, conjuring narratives in the viewer’s mind. Another Julie Ann motif, the lace curtain, is nostalgic, it belongs to another time. Carefully hung by house-proud hands, their netted patterns creating a gentle barrier, a private space. Julie Ann respects the privacy of all the homes she looks to, whilst celebrating these profound spaces. Her art asks us to contemplate our own private spaces, physical, intellectual and emotional.

Dr Angela Griffith, Trinity College Dublin.

Printing press process shot Baskin Lane hainesjulieann.jpg
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