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Colloquium-Lake Merrimu

Ten Pound Packages

In All Kinds of Weather

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Artist Biography

Julie-anne Armstrong-Roper was born in Exeter, England and immigrated to Australia at the age of six, later to become an Australian citizen. She spent her formative years in Frankston (a suburb of Melbourne) later moving to Mt Eliza on the eastern shores of Port Phillip Bay.

Although Julie-anne was rebellious at school she excelled at art and at an early age enrolled in Life Drawing classes at the local Grammar school, at the age of sixteen she returned to Europe for six months spending time on an art tour of Italy and France.

She continued to develop her art mainly in the drawing discipline for many years until she enrolled in painting classes at Prahran College in the 1980s under the tutorage of Howard Arkley. This period caused a re-appraisal of her work and she moved though the genre of the surrealist movement and figurative painting. Her fathers' death in 2000 was a cathartic experience that led her to find her own style.

For the past six years, she has been exploring human emotions and spirituality though the use of landscape. Her works are not purely landscape, in most cases they are abstractions where she has used the weather as a metaphor for the emotive changes we experience through our lives. Using the sky and all its moods, not only to communicate her own emotions, but also to invoke an emphatic response from the audience.

In her latest body of work but she has expanded the theme. She has done so by using the image of a single, somewhat exposed tree, to show human frailty as it stands alone on a landscape, a single tree not at one with the world, exposed to the elements. Whereas her previous works were not true depictions taken from nature but abstractions, in these works she has used a representation of nature in the form of a tree depicted with a thin layer of paint so it is almost transparent as it stands against the elements. She has just completed a new work "Driving west against a warm sky" where she has endeavored to use the whole landscape to express a feeling of isolation. Julie-anne believes this to be a natural continuation of expressing human nature and emotion using the atmospheric and geological environments.