At the beginning of the pandemic, I was wrapping up my series “Ghost Stories”. However, I did not feel ready to move on to a new project yet. Since I usually incorporate book works into each of my series and the pandemic afforded me the luxury of time in my studio, I begin to immerse myself in Victorian-era ghost stories while creating pastels of some of my favourite intimate photographs I took of museum houses that didn’t quite work as panoramas.
Ghost stories primarily written by women and set in domestic scenes saturated the literature of the time. “Homes for Ghosts” folio compiles 16 griping passages by some of the finest Victorian writers, accompanied by pastels of these time-capsule museum rooms to create a new story. The Victorian era (which broadly covers 1837 to WWI ), is arguably the period which most haunts the Western world. Industrialization brought with it a rapidly growing middle class with long lasting effects on cultural norms, lifestyle, values and morality. In the Victorian era, family life increasingly became compartmentalized, and privacy became the keynote function of the ideal house. During this era too, the evangelical revival in the Christian church was complemented by a golden age of spiritualism that permeates Victorian culture. Every scientific and technological advance encouraged a kind of magical thinking and was accompanied by a shadow discourse of the occult.
While I was profoundly aware of the similarities between COVID and with the Spanish Flu while working on this book, the “real ghosts” are those Victorian virtues and colonial prejudices that continue to haunt us today and frankly terrify me.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Julie studied at the Banff Centre, Alberta in 1986 and received her BFA from Queen’s University with a major in printmaking. She has made her home for the past twenty five years on the unceded Coast Salish shared lands of xwməθkwəyəm (Musqueam), Skxwú7mesh (Squamish) & səlilwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Vancouver, BC, Canada. Julie has had solo shows of her print-based work in 20 public galleries across Canada and participated in well over 40 juried exhibitions, including 22 international credits. She primarily works in lithography and woodcut although her next series will be a graphic novel in serigraphy about the art world. Julie has taught workshops across Canada for over 30 years and has been a popular artist in residence with the Vancouver School Board and ArtStarts for nearly a decade. Julie was President of CARFAC BC for 5.5 years, 4 years as BC Representative for CARFAC National and 3 as their Treasurer. A big believer in creative expression, Julie supports her family, art and advocacy work by working primarily in the food service industry!
© Julie McIntyre