Julie Shiels makes sculptural and photomedia works that respond to pressing social and political issues such as climate, inequality, consumption and gentrification. Transforming everyday objects, text and found images, her creative projects draw attention to things that are hidden in plain sight, undervalued or slipping from view.

Julie started her art career as screen printer and political poster maker and was a founding member of Another Planet Posters. For the next 20 years she collaborated with culturally diverse communities, museums and arts organisations on large scale art projects concerned with advocacy and social change. These experiences, and the process-based methods Julie developed during this time, continue to inform her art making today.

Julie uses art to make sense of the world. She applies aesthetic strategies that defamiliarise and destabilise her source materials to prompt a deeper engagement with everyday concerns and revivify well-traversed issues. Her creative projects are underpinned by conceptional and philosophical frameworks, but her primary interest is in the act of looking and the affective and intellectual responses that this act gives rise to.

Since the 2019-20 bushfires, Julie has returned to the narrative based approach of her early poster work and developed new bodies of work that utilise the narrative potential of archival images and documents, old master paintings and parody.


Julie’s solo shows include: Making Strange, Five Walls (2024) Hidden Life, Linden New Art, All that Remains, Benalla Art Gallery (2019), Empty, Atrium Gallery, Sofitel Hotel, Melbourne (2018), Narrating Absence, Linden New Art (2016), Resisting Disappearance, AC Institute (2015) New York, Ubiquitous Object, Ambivalent Things – Margaret Lawrence Gallery (2015) Things Fall Apart, Kings ARI (2013), Material Affect, The Substation (2013), Trace 2, Linden Centre for Contemporary Art (2012), Placeholders and Rubbish Theory, Platform Contemporary Art Spaces (2012 and 2009); Cusp, RMIT Project Space (2011), and Sleeper, Monash Gallery of Art (2009), Flock, Ararat Regional Gallery (2008), Monument, Albury Regional Gallery (2007).

Her work is regularly shown in curated exhibitions and surveys — most recently: Too Many Cooks: Conflicting Narratives in Australia’s Visual Histories, Plimsoll Gallery, University of Tasmania, Recent Acquisitions, Geelong Gallery, Unfinished Business: Perspectives on art and feminism, ACCA Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (2018), Don’t Be Too Polite: Posters and Activism, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne (2017), Land/resistance, Defying Empire, National Gallery of Australia (2017), Don’t Be Too Polite: Posters and Activism, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Recent Acquisitions: Port Phillip City Collection 2013 – 14, The Gallery, St Kilda Town Hall (2014), Regimes of Value, Margaret Lawrence Gallery and Substation (2013).


Julie’s photomedia work has been published by M.33, Melbourne: The Grandmasters II #Last_days (2022), The Grandmasters #sh*tf*ckery (2021) Empty (2018), Waiting (2017) and  As Long as it Lasts (2014).

Julie is a regular writer for The Conversation.


Julie has been commissioned to produce public sculptures: Material Fix (2022), Pipemakers Park, Maribyrnong, Just Passing Through, (2019), Rosanna Station, New Riviera, (2019) Kingston City Council, Small moments on a long street – public art trail, Bayside City Council (2014 -15), The Last Move, Albert Tower (2013), Aunty Alma’s Seat, (2006) and Margins, memories and markers (2002-3), City of Port Phillip.

She has received arts development grants through City of Melbourne (2023, 2011 and 2007), Arts Victoria (2004) and the Australia Council for the Arts: New Work (2009) Arts Fellowship (2004–05). She has undertaken funded residencies at Red Gate Gallery in Beijing, China (2010 Toyota Travel Prize), Albury Regional Gallery (2006) and Hanoi, Vietnam (1997, Australia Council).

Her work has been acquired by public collections including: Australian National Gallery, Australia Embassy – Vietnam, Museum of Victoria, Melbourne, Polish Poster Biennale, State Library of New South Wales, State Library of Victoria, National Library of Australia, Gallery of New South Wales, City of Port Phillip, Banyule City Council, Ballarat Regional Gallery, Australian War Memorial, Baillieu Library, Rare Book Collection, Melbourne University, Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne.

Julie Shiels completed her PhD at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2015 and was the recipient of the prestigious Stella Mary Langford Post Graduate Scholarship from Melbourne University. Prior to that she was awarded a Masters of Art from RMIT University in 2006 where she was a sessional lecturer until 2019.

CV Julie Shiels -2022

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