Cloud 9, 165 Irish Street, Dumfries DG1 2NN
Tell us a little about what you do and why you love it?
I’m a visual artist based in Dumfries, interested in nature in all its forms and exploring these in a range of media and techniques. This gives me the freedom to be a painter one week, a textile artist the next, a photographer… such is my curiosity.
Art to me is meditative. It helps me to solve problems and work through issues. Having come from a dark place, it has given me the confidence to be a better version of me.
What makes Dumfries and Galloway special to you?
I moved to Dumfries and Galloway 25 years ago after living in suburban Birmingham and then Manchester. I’m more comfortable in nature than in cities. I love that on my doorstep I have unbelievably beautiful scenery that inspires my work daily.
Are you involved in other arts and cultural activities?
I’m a bit of a champion for Dumfries. I co-ordinate Dumfries Art Trail, linking galleries, artist studios and craft shops in the town centre. I promote the town whenever I can, hoping to share what’s great about the town with anyone who’ll listen!
What projects are you involved in right now?
I’m currently working on a series of woodland inspired paintings and photo collages. I love being amongst trees, finding them almost church like, so creating versions of the woods I love to walk through for other people to then experience is my challenge.
Hopes, ambitions or plans for 2017?
On a personal note, I’m exhibiting at Kirkcudbright Arts and Craft Trail in July, which is always a total joy to do!
Cloud 9 has been gradually building itself up over the past six years and now that I am running it full time, I’d like to see more people aware of its presence. I still surprise a lot of people when they ask how long the gallery has been open!
I’m also hoping to build up the therapeutic side of my business, offering art as part of a toolbox towards recovery. It helped me; I’d like to see it help others.
Have you always been in this role?
I came to the region as a primary school teacher and worked in Annandale and Eskdale schools until 2015, latterly as a part time Additional Support for Learning Teacher.
Teaching is something I love to do, so it is natural for me to want to build the workshop aspect of Cloud 9.
If we asked a friend to tell us something surprising about you, what would they say?
Julie is a Star Trek fanatic and would love to explore the universe on a Galaxy Class Cruiser. Imagine the art work that could inspire!