Julia Holden’s stop motion animated portraits are a series of individual paintings made into video. Some of these series are made up of over 700 individual painted portraits – for The Philosopher, Julia hand painted 776 canvases. Julia says that her work blends her favourite modes of working – film, painting and photography – and this creates something entirely new, evolving into a final work that does more than a singular image could ever do. This arrival point excites her through its expansive discovery of nuances that makes the portrait reveal so much more about the subject and contemporary life on a deep reflective level. Julia says that choosing just one moment, one nuance to paint as a portrait is not enough to discover a sense of fullness, a sense of complete observation based on the fact that human life is about being constantly in motion.
Julia has an impressive CV that includes being a finalist in The Churchie (2011), The Doug Moran National Portrait Prize (2011), and The Wallace Arts Award (2013). Recent work made upon arriving in Christchurch to live in 2012 includes her Christchurch portraits, Wish You Were Here, Then Present Tense that precipitated her five large billboards (from Wish You Were Here) that toured Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Its Like Now as an ‘incomplete portrait of some of Christchurch's arts community’ and the exhibition that has just shown recently at The Tin Palace in Lyttelton, Through the Glass Ceiling, works showcasing five women from Lyttelton through different generations who have advanced the cause of democracy and women’s rights.