For this show Yuliana explores memory using shapes, layering colours and the
re-appropriation of her chosen canvas, the 2020 calendar and travel postcards. The year 2020 was extremely strange for everyone, in particular the sadness brought on by Covid19 the impact it has had on a personal level. She creates her art in a certain emotional state, without any intention on the final outcome. The feeling of displacement, being away from loved ones, the journey of her life and her identity as a woman in society.
Yuluana responded to the existing imagery in the calendar and the postcards by following the lines, making a mark, layering over but leaving glimpses of the original image. The calendar she used depicted the Australian outback, birds, park and icons.
Get creative with this abstract painting demo from Yuliana during her show at TOD Gallery
A series of three postcards where Yuliana is responding to her feelings as an 'outsider' even through she has been living in Australia now for over 20 years.
It is unavoidable to ignore the artist's ‘attachment’ to her country of birth, and the story of these three artworks are also inked to their place of origin (Australian postcards). Moving from Indonesia to Australia has changed Yuliana and her identity, and her continued search for her place and identity is reflected in her art, which has now become the basis of her practice.
Yuliana says, "Following my journalism career and moving to Australia, I lived in many places which enriched my experiences and opened new horizons, which I fully embraced. However, I always felt like an outsider even though at times I have been offended when I have been perceived as an ‘outsider' by others, as I held in my heart the expectation of being accepted in this Australian society. It’s about survival. Living a life across two cultures that are labeled 'East' and 'West', I continuously contemplate where I am from and who I am. I am unable to understand others without knowing myself and my identity first. I am intrigued by what people think about others, as people are viewed and treated differently if they don't look the same, don't think the same and have a different lifestyle and ways of living."
Coming from a mixed cultural background it is very difficult to fit into one box, and expressing these contradictions and dilemmas through art results in interesting and thought provoking work.
Yuliana utilised 11 Australian postcards for this series.
Pathways is about her life's journey in Australia and it also reflects anyone else's journey of ups and downs. For her, it's a very personal journey of how life changes especially after becoming a mother after her first born and how relationships, work, and social circumstances change and develop. Each path has a different length, a different layout and travels in a different directions. One day she is happy and very enthusiastic with life while on a different day, she could be mentally and emotionally drained.
These pathways are full of mistakes and failures as well as achievements and experiences. They are colourful full of lines, circles and unique shapes, criss-crossing and interacting with each other.
For this series, Yuliana used a 2020 Australian calendar as a the canvas for her painting. These six paintings reflect the connections of people with their life. She expressed this work as an observer, but also her perception of how people have coped and dealt with this difficult and strange year. Her aim was to investigate the personal journey we have all experienced, the attachment and connections with others during lockdown especially our families and love ones.
The calendar included pictures of landscapes, Australian icons, flora, fauna and the outback these for her represented all the different changes we were experiencing. She applied contrast and bright colours to these pictures to narrate every persons' unique journey. She responded to the colours and shapes in the photographs and her own mark making to create new representations and new scenes and where necessary she would leave a little part of the original picture exposed. (See the painting on the right 'Long Road', she applied paint to half of road with a slightly blue colour and on the other half she created new path.)
On the back the dates are left blank for us the viewer see and to remember that each day is precious, as these Covid19 times has taught is that we never know what might be round the corner!
Yuliana's experience in the arts stretches from writing about arts and culture as a young journalist in Indonesia, to curating and organising art exhibitions. She moved to Australia 20 years ago and completed her MA at Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia.
Today she continues to write on 'Art and Culture' for various Australian and Indonesian media outlets.
Yuliana's art practice draws on her cultural background and identity as an Indonesian living in Australia, two places she calls home. She develops her work through mark making and layering, highlighting her growth in life through burden and survival as a woman and a mother in society, and as an outsider to tell her own stories and stories of others.
When she draws and paints, an energy flows, enabling her to go into her own secret world and without any expectations the drawing/painting of shapes becomes something unexpected yet true to herself. This spontaneous mark making allows her to play with lines, geometries and colours, sometimes the colours are bright and over-exposed and other times extremely dark. She interprets these outcomes as the contrast between the times that are euphoric/manic and the times that are depressing lows, common symptoms of life which define who we are.
Her work is mainly mixed media, where she uses fabrics, wool, found and vintage objects. She spontaneously employs these materials to express cultural, gender and identity themes.