The professional art week of Oviedo was born in 2021 with the main objective
to inform the city and citizens of the advances, research and theory of current art at the hands of the best professionals in the sector.
After participating in that first edition, through the proposal of Pablo Bruera and Alba Escayo, the Lucía Dueñas Gallery once again forms part of its programming this 2022. On the occasion of its second edition, from June 3 to 12, the gallery presents his proposal by the artist Juli About.
Juli About (Avignon, France, 1974) began his career in the artistic world at
through a training in plastic arts and scenic arts (theater) until arriving at contemporary jewelry. Thanks to the latter, he would discover, by happy chance, ceramics, achieving his own identity that is unparalleled.
Today she is an accomplished ceramic artist and especially likes to play with contrasts. White ceramic is often perceived as hard, stable and immovable. Well, under Juli's hands, ceramics suddenly become fluid, flexible and changeable. It has texture, it has volume, and we want to touch it to see if it's really smooth or not.
Wordless Stories VII, real scale, partially glazed porcelain and embroidery thread, 2020
Under her expert hands, the artist turns ceramics into beautiful pieces that highlight female suffering, the intimacy of the female body, her vulnerability and her pleasure, her fears and power, childhood, the earth...
Hearts with veins of roots and thorns, palms of hands from which nipples emerge, feet unhooked like shoes revealing a throbbing brain, or panties adorned with a jagged vagina and crimson threads of blood are some examples that we can discover in her production.
Now, for the first time in Spain, the artist will present an installation under the name "Te siembro" at the II Professional Art Week in Oviedo (2022). In it, ceramics continues to be the undisputed protagonist.
This installation is made up of a rain of white and gold porcelain drops that hang from red threads. Red as a metaphor for the fragility of water, gold to proclaim its preciousness. Under this rain, an antique bed is arranged with a mattress of living moss, on which there is a pair of porcelain bare feet.
«I sow you» Installation project for the II Professional Week of Art in Oviedo, Asturias
Going barefoot as a sign of humility to nature, the threshold of the sacred. The religious aspect of the ex-voto and the conception of nature as the first and last deity is a constant in his work, as is female suffering, the earth or the vulnerable.
In his own words, «working on ex-votos is a way of talking about the whole body. The part for the whole. A global metonymy. We are part of the whole. Part of the landscape. The body is a landscape within a landscape. A kind of ex-voto of all nature.
Feet, real scale (number 35), partially glazed porcelain, 2021
Juli imprints on her ceramic pieces a delicacy close to unreality with a unique combination that refers us to a special fusion of the entire tradition of religious ex-votos and an interest in showing the organic load of the human body.
The body, intimacy, but also the environment is at the center of his focus. His research questions the limit between the body and the landscape; its porosity. In her works, Juli shows great interest in capturing that inescapable connection between our body and our mind, interior and exterior as two landscapes that are closely linked, requiring our care and protection.
Coeux ex voto, ceramic (porcelain) partially glazed (gold) and embroidery thread, 2021
Every element that makes up the work has its meaning, its beauty, its fragility. And the use of ceramics is vital for this: “working with ceramics means dealing with the inherent fragility of the material, but also with the fragility of our being in the world. It is a material that must be taken care of, and that invites us to take care of the world ».
The bed as care to be given to the living. The carpet of ceramic acorns at his feet, like seeds, as a reflection of what we should do with life, take care of it or destroy it? These oak seeds look like, from a distance, bullets. Up close, female bodies. In French, there is a homonymy between this oak fruit and the sex of man. There is also a formal ambiguity between this fruit and an ammunition, a bullet.
Undoubtedly, the violence that his ceramics convey is accompanied by poignant emotion and poetics, an ambivalence between the fragility of the sculptures, the almost destructive force they convey, and the astonishment they arouse.
Installation Terre en moi, ceramic (porcelain) and moss, 2021
The emotional charge is essential to understand the work of Juli About. His creative process begins from the sensations and emotions that he experiences, resorting to art as a catalyst for them. Art for the artist is undoubtedly a cathartic medium that helps her to transmit her emotions. And that is something that, without a doubt, is evident in all his ceramics, in which there is also a symbolic background that invites us to go beyond the simply visual, light and magical of its finishes.
Votive offerings: feet and hearts, partially glazed porcelain, 2021
Text: Patri Fdez. & Ande Rígez.