A specialist in large-scale watercolour paintings and ink drawings, London-based artist Juliette Losq depicts marginal landscapes that spring up in the overlooked borders of cities and towns. Using a palette that is muted and limited, she skillfully creates detailed scenes of plant life, concrete and graffiti. The imagery is often dark and brooding—as though straight out of a classic novel—and inviting.
“These become sites of speculation on what might have gone before and what may be occurring out of sight,” writes Juliette. “Drawing on the idea that we project imagined histories onto these spaces, I sometimes make reference to imagery derived from various sources, including Victorian newspaper illustrations, paper toys and ephemera.
“These are collaged together with my own documentation of these neglected byways to form composite scenes, which then become layered images. Found images and stylised forms may infiltrate the composition, so that the eye moves between these and a realistically rendered landscape, and is confronted both by the excess of nature and the excesses of these forms.”
In her work, Juliette makes allusions to the Picturesque and the Gothic of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, interweaving their motifs and devices with the marginal areas that she depicts. She aims to evoke an uncertain world hovering at the edges of a symbolic ‘Clearing’, where wilderness and chaos oppose civilisation and order, and in which beauty and neglect are interchangeable.
“I am also interested in teleoramas as fictional spaces that draw on real experience,” continues the artist on her installations. “The drawing has been made from a collaged model resembling these paper peepshows. I propose that our emotional engagement with marginal sites is as important as a visual description of them: that looking at them as sites of imaginary histories is as important as documenting them. The physical layering of the teleorama form fits in with the idea that my work evolves from a process of layering fact with fiction: that I am making drawn or painted references to paintings and objects from the past to present my experience of contemporary spaces.”
Born in 1978, Juliette initially studied History of Art at the University of Cambridge, before obtaining her MA in 18-century British and French Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2001. Later, she enrolled at Wimbledon College of Art to spend three years studying painting and subsequently, went on to get her PG Dip in Fine Art from the Royal Academy schools, in London. Juliette has been selected for numerous awards over the years. In 2005, she won the Jerwood Drawing prize. She was also selected for the prestigious John Moores Painting Prize in 2014, shown at the Walker gallery in Liverpool, where she was winner of the Visitors’ choice award.
Juliette is represented by Waterhouse and Dodd and has exhibited at Saatchi Gallery and Le Salon Vert. She has a studio on an island in the River Thames, which is part of a working boatyard. This September and October, her art will be displayed in London at City and Guilds Art School (with Roaming Room), The Cello Factory and The Garden Museum.
Links: Website (www.losq.co.uk)
Images used with permission.