Julie Forgues – Artist Residency Programs

For the past decade, my photographic work has explored how in-betweens are sites fluxing between spaces and places, between what was and what will be. I see these in-betweens where process is in indeterminate states but are as important to our perceptions of our surroundings. Therefore, these midpoints underlie and integrate our conceptions and understandings of what are space and place. Without these three concepts, how can we understand how we integrate, acknowledge, appreciate and transform our milieu.

My work therefore makes this process of fluctuation visible. 

Thanks to artsnb’s support, I got to explore the difference/resemblances between inland and coastal sites in Ireland as part of two artist residency programs: Shankill Castle (July 1st to July 19th 2019) and Burren College of Art (July 22 th to August 16th 2019) to further my photographic research on space, place and in-betweens. For these two residencies, I concentrated on the links I could find between inland (Shankill Castle and its surroundings) and coastal sites (Burren College of Art and its surroundings) in the manner in which the landscape (both rural) is formed and developed. 

I first got to know their surroundings by driving around, looking, gazing, exploring and embodying. It’s the first time I have the privilege to have a vehicle at hand while at a residency. This has proven to be quite the “must” to be able to capture images in somewhat isolated areas. Also, as roads are very narrow in Ireland, it would had been very difficult to travel by foot. All and all, hiring a car (as suggested by the Shankill Castle residency) was the best decision I made.

Above: Coastal liminal responses, Burren College of Art, [#1 – ensemble], six 18 x 13 cm silver gelatin prints with soluble graphite pencils and watercolor.

As for the images themselves, I had planned to do both silver gelatin medium format and digital, but as I knew I could use a darkroom at Burren College of Art, I barely took any digital. As the first time I have a darkroom at hand at a residency, this was just great as I prefer, above all, silver gelatin, therefore, I didn’t find the need to even use the digital format. I was very happy to pursue my project with my preferred work method. 

Above: Inland liminal responses, Shankill Castle residency, [#1 – ensemble], six 18 x 13 cm silver gelatin prints with soluble graphite pencils and watercolor.

I foraged the views on silver gelatine medium format around Shankill Castle and did the same when I got to Burren College of Art residency program. The second week I was in The Burren, I developed my negatives (from both residencies) and in the third week, I printed the final images (about sixty 18 x 13 cm gelatine silver prints). The plan was to “work” on the surface of the gelatin prints, a method that I had done before with oil paint, but this time, I wanted to try different material that would adhere to the mat surface of the prints. Therefore, in the last two days of the residency and time in Ireland, I tested different soluble mediums on the prints itself to see how it would react and what type of visual would result from these physical applications on the photographic paper. I did many tests: some I found interesting, but others, I have to rethink. As I was researching these new visuals and looking at the prints that had not been reworked, I had to stop since I was not satisfied with the results. Such is the artistic process! I knew that more research of the places themselves had to be conducted before continuing these manipulations on the prints’ surfaces. Since I was in the last days of the residency, I left the work as is knowing that the not yet finished works are a new path for me but need to further the visual and theoretical research of “why” these markings on the photographic paper are important to the work.  

Living in Moncton, New-Brunswick, Julie Forgues obtained her BFA at Universitéde Moncton in 1995 and her MFA Studio –photography at Concordia University in 1999. She has been a faculty member of the Department des arts visuels of Université de Moncton since 2000 as a photography professor and is the Head of department since July 2016.

She has shown solo in 2014 at the Galerie Colline in Edmundston NB. Her work has been exhibited in group shows such as at Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen in Moncton, at the Beaverbrook Gallery in Fredericton. Throughout the years, she has also show work nationally in Ontario, Québec, NB, and internationally China and Japan. She has also participated in numerous artist residency programs in China, Ireland, Japan and the Arctic. She was an artist resident at the renown Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai from August 2017 to February 2018. She considers her work as a visual in-between a space and a place.

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