Julie Ross: Rabbitat

  • Opening Date: Tuesday, 8 November 2016
  • Closing Date: Sunday, 27 November 2016
  • Opening Time: Tue-Fri 11am-5pm, Sat 11-4pm & Sun 11-3pm

Julie Ross presents a new body of work in Rabbitat, which illustrates an exploration into society and humanity through metaphor, allegory, anthropomorphism, and humour.

As with her previous series, Julie utilises playful, witty, and surreal components to comment on contemporary issues familiar within our New Zealand context. The rabbit imagery within this exhibition - taken from taxidermy rabbits, photographs, and memories of Julie's childhood and farming upbringing - has an aesthetic and allegorical function. As cute and cuddly creatures, rabbits can call to mind our own childhood experiences of family pets, Disney stories, and fables. However, within a New Zealand environmental and farming context, rabbits are introduced pests that breed prolifically and cause severe ecological damage. The title Rabbitat plays on the word 'habitat', which alludes to Julie's thinking about humanity, over population and the environmental issues that are prevalent today.

Rabbitat is a metaphorical and allegorical story about society and human nature. It is an exhibition that alludes to everyday objects, our humanity, desires, and fears, through literary and art-historical references and humorous animal imagery. An engaging and masterful storyteller, Julie exhibits a combination of sculptural and painted works within Rabbitat to explore her narrative. Hand-built porcelain clay sculptures and bronze works compliment oil paintings laden with detail and symbolism. There is an affinity between the different formations, and the rich source of visual resources Julie references in her work; her surrealist and illustrative style is layered with multiple meanings and innuendos. This allows Julie to tell a visual story that is simultaneously whimsical yet critiquing, individual yet collective.

In 2005, Julie received a BFA with Honours from Canterbury University, followed by a Masters in Painting in 2011. She has exhibited across New Zealand and Melbourne.

Rebecca Ward




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