Julian is a former soldier who served in the Parachute Regiment from 1976 to 1985. This formative experience and his observations of male identity, romanticism and the inherent violence of men have informed him as a painter ever since. His autobiographical paintings of isolated male figures set in desolate landscapes, caught up in their own myth, and unable to adapt to change reflect his own struggle to redefine his role as a male in contemporary society. He concludes that as with the dinosaurs, we either evolve or consign ourselves to history. Evolution has no place for sentiment.
His new set of 15 paintings on show at the Embassy Tea Gallery from 2nd December reflect a future in which the male hegemony has been dismantled. These latest works are full of momentum. The richly coloured paint, applied layer on layer with bold, fluid brushstrokes, develop into rhythms and patterns, eventually evolving into female forms, running forward and sometimes marauding over the bodies of imagined male heroes from another age who are collapsing under the weight of change.
Within this context of social and political evolution, at the heart of Julian’s painting practice is a search to evoke feelings of what it means to be human, and more specifically the deep underlying emotions that surface when we face ourselves as sentient beings with finite lives and the meanings we attribute to our existence.
Julian attended Art school in Newcastle where he graduated with a B.A. in Fine Art. He is married to Judy Counihan and lives and works in South London.
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