Julie Wills

May 5-28, 2017

Desire and Its Constraints

Wills’ current collage-based and sculptural works are inspired by the tools of desire: wishes, hopes, effort and intention. An evolving understanding of her roles as a parent, child, sibling, spouse, citizen, friend and lover, as well as her awareness of competing external expectations for each of these roles, directly shapes the content and structure of her works.

The works in this exhibit draw imagery from celestial sources; the moon, stars and cosmos recur throughout in varying forms. This imagery, however, is eclipsed by its materiality: stars are rendered as abraded holes in sandpaper, and deep space in a rough wood tree branch. Wills chooses materials for their metaphoric or associative meanings; matchsticks, for example, suggest a continuum from latent potential to residue, while sandpaper contains a tactile recognition of its erosive function. The collages pair traditional drawing materials with the nontraditional materials found in her sculpture and incorporate her longstanding interest in poetic language.

Julie Wills is an interdisciplinary artist working in the expanded field of sculpture, including installation, collage works on paper, performance, video and site-specific practices. She holds an MFA from the University of Colorado, and an MA in art criticism from the University of Montana. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Jentel Foundation, PLAYA, and the Hambidge Center, among others, and has exhibited her work widely. In addition to her individual studio practice, Wills has worked since 2004 as one of four members of The Bridge Club collaborative.

Wills is an Assistant Professor of Studio Art at Washington College in Chestertown, MD.