I admit that it took me several encounters with Julia's work to become intrigued. Normally, I wouldn't use the word 'disgust' to speak of someone's work, but well... That's what I felt when I saw her Ruminant Bloom (lamp, pictured below) made of a cow's preserved second stomach and imagined what it must be like to touch! Luckily, her Cow Benches don't evoke the same reaction. They are indeed intriguing, and have won her a spot in the very well edited Galerie Kreo in Paris. I'm still trying to decide how I'd feel sitting on one!
Birthplace: Hildesheim, Germany
Studies/year of graduation: Royal College of Art, Design Products, 2004
Profession/how long you've been there: I've been involved in design since my A-levels in 1996. I went freelance after my graduation at the RCA.
Left handed or Right handed: Both- I write with my right and draw with my left. It's great for drawing elaborate pictures because you can swap hands every few hours but during math class in school it was always a nuisance as I wrote the numbers with my right and underlined the calculations with my left…
Favorite dessert: All desserts, but especially ice cream and my friend Michael's home-baked chocolate cookies
Sketch something you remember from your childhood
On holidays my dad and I were scavenging the beach for flotsam to make sculptures. I was more interested in collecting and imagining than building. My mum was most interested in limiting the number of items that were taken home without offending dad or me. We had a great time!
Object/Icon you wish you had designed and why?
-Christiania Bicycle- I love the sustainable way of life it facilitates and promotes
-One of Thomas Heatherwick's sculptures- I think his work is ingenious
The aspect of your work you never tire of?
Looking at nature
One color/pattern we'll never see in your design portfolio.
Not a colour or pattern- but I try to create work with a long life span and a responsible use of resources.
You'll know you've made it when…
…you're free to do whatever you like and still don't become self indulgent or repeat yourself.
Julia's cow-benches, memento mori to the cows who died to give their leather to humans, explore the threshold between animal and material, were the first of her portfolio to which I was introduced. Each is handsculpted and unique, with no improvements or embellishments made to the cow's hide. The wrinkles and scars of her life are carried on in this functional bench which They are sculpted in different poses, and each has a name. [Alma Home in London provided generous support to Julia to help her realize this project.] Here they are on the lawn:
And here is Anoushka in the city [Tokyo, to be exact!]
The Ruminant Bloom still evokes a strong initial reaction, but I can see the beauty in the natural pattern around the lamp and how it glows. Made of preserved cows and sheep-stomachs. I am glad to know that my two-tiered reaction, even if in the wrong order, falls within the norm, according to Julia!!
Flock - an installation of fifty sheep stomachs as part of the Royal College of Art Summer Show (2004). Exhibited also at Design Mart at the Design Museum.