Julia Florence is an artist who specialises in ceramics, combining her love of drawing with her natural affinity with the medium of clay. She studied Illustration at Falmouth University and honed her drawing skills at the Charles Cecil Academy in Florence, Italy, where her love of life drawing was nurtured. In the years following her graduation, Julia’s desire for tactile creativity away from a screen lead her to study a part time pottery course and began her journey with ceramics. Inspired by the shapes created by Japanese masters and the natural open landscape of Cornwall, Julia moved away from classical studio pottery and set her attention towards creating large scale pieces on which to paint her dreamlike figures and forms. This marked a turning point in her work as an artist and a potter. Using the physical challenge of making vases on a larger scale as a way to channel her emotional energy, Julia symbolises these emotions and struggles in the painting of each piece, using powerful imagery often depicting nude female forms and wild looking natural elements. Julia has exhibited around Cornwall, London and New York, and is currently based at her studio in Falmouth, owned by the family run Morgan’s Gallery and studios.
Julia was born in Devon in 1993.
‘My work for this show stems from a deep gratitude to Cornwall, for being my home and harbour for most of my adult life and in particular throughout the pandemic.
During these strange times I have found peace and comfort in the wild landscape which I know and love, the serenity and strength of nature here offers hope through the storm. The title of the show ‘Anthem’ inspired my use of the song ‘Cornwall my home’ as a reference around which to build my collection. I have always found it a beautiful ode to Cornwall and during the lockdowns it was a poignant and moving to see folks gathering to sing it at their doorways in the evening, as a way to show solidarity.
Spending much of my time through the pandemic in solitude as many people have, I have grown a deeper appreciation for where I live, in particular the sea and coastline. I have a strong connection to Cornwall and I wanted to represent this through my work for the show. I used a mixture of Devon and Cornwall stoneware clay for these vases and attempted to convey a sense of celebration of the lushness of Cornwall and what this has given me throughout a hard time.’