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Art & Culture

Enveloped Landscapes

Creating architecture when denied to engage with it in the real.  

Julia Vogl
September 8

Enveloped Landscape is a series inspired by imagined landscapes that I created while on the telephone to various people over the last few weeks. The patterns are taken from my archive of interiors of envelopes that I have been collecting for years. While the most fascinating patterns are often found in bank statements and bills, they have become a secret pleasure even if served with banal information. I have used these patterns in several works over the years, as they are often familiar to a viewer even if they can’t quite place why.

These landscapes outlined in black and defined enveloped patterns suggest a graphic confidence even though the blank cloud patterns crisscrossing them, for me, suggest unknown winds that are in constant circulation.

Much of my practice as a social sculpture involves bringing individuals or communities together to share information or their marks in a public place, collectively with others. Many of my works look like data visualisations, readable as a portrait of fun facts about a community. Over the last 10 years I have enjoyed working on Timewell Timeline- in which one man who has epilepsy charts his seizures in a 17M mural. I have also done larger scope projects like Pathways to Freedom engaging 1,800 individuals across the city of Boston on the subject of freedom and immigration and creating a 6,000 square floor mural across Boston Common.

These projects have been about lived experiences from the designing, making, installation, and following celebration of the art.

In these strange times, I have investigated my practice again, to find that so much of the projects are about people and also about pattern and architecture.

Locked at home, I started drawing these imagined places as line drawings,  needing to create my own architecture to colour in both metaphorically and literally. I started creating more landscapes, colouring in with patterns from these envelopes and then colouring in with markers and old prints. While I have had a difficulty making plans when no one will set a schedule of when I can resume work or travel to meet local friends or international relations, making small things with my hands has brought me comfort.  Although I miss bringing people together, I have been sending these collages out as Postal Surprises, encouraging others to join the analogue train and make with their hands.

I invite others to download my monochrome landscapes, to colour them in, to cut them up, and to take inspiration and make their own landscapes and collages with what they have. Even a few minutes a day away from the computer, making with your hands can be calming, be meditative, and result in a product you can share with others.

Julia Vogl
meet the author

Julia Vogl

Julia Vogl is American & British with an international practice. She makes social sculpture and installations that are engaging with site and colourfully form community.  Her Manifesto that motivates her work: THE ART WORK MUST RESPOND TO SITE OR COMMUNITY [...]