Julz Coffey has established a strong reputation in Whanganui for her unique and lovable art. This month her work features in Red Door Gallery's February exhibition.
Called Sum of my arts, it is a retrospective with some new work included.
"I'm going to have my Somewhat Forsaken figures, some new work where I've been using old linen and also doing portraits, women's faces with collage and stitch," she says. "I've got some rust prints on fabric." Using objects she has found, Julz sprays them with vinegar to rust them on to fabric. She has also done some cyanotypes — a printing process using a chemical which produces a cyan-blue print.
Julz' work is varied and her output is prolific, encompassing a variety of styles all using recycled materials. There are books she has deconstructed then reconstructed; hand saw handles with shapes that suggest something so she paints them accordingly. Some are obviously cats' faces so that what Julz paints, and others are definitely tiki.
Captain Crunch and Rudy is a take on the old radio theme from a recent Red Door exhibition and her driftwood birds are a new addition to her repertoire. Made of driftwood and odds and ends like teaspoons, wire and discarded bits and pieces, like hammers from a piano and cream horn moulds.
"I love wire," she says.
Her work has been described as "quirky, fun, creative and a great use of forsaken things".
Julz likes to say there is nothing new under the sun, but many people see her work as quite different, regardless of her influences.
Her favourite artist is Pablo Picasso, who said, "Steal like an artist, but make it your own."
Sum of my arts runs until February 29 at Red Door Gallery in Putiki.