Julie makes sculptural and photo media artworks for the gallery, the web and public spaces. Transforming everyday objects, text and overlooked places, her creative projects draw attention to the things that are hidden, undervalued or slipping from view.
She started her art career as screen printer and political poster maker and was a founding member of Another Planet Posters. She subsequently worked collaboratively with culturally diverse communities, museums and arts organisations on mixed media projects that were concerned with inequality and social change.
Throughout her career Shiels has been both an artist and project manager. She developed her process-based methods over two decades, working collaboratively with culturally diverse communities, museums and arts organisations, including the Jewish Museum, Immigration Museum, and with local councils — Banyule, Albury, Bayside and City of Port Phillip.
During Covid Julie concentrated her energies on temporary works on-ine and in public space. The Grandmasters political parodies series was presented on Instagram julie.shiels and as salon hang paste-ups in inner Melbourne.
Julie’s solo shows include: 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 exhibited in group shows 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.
SELECTED RESIDENCIES, AWARDS and GRANTS
She 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.
Julie has received arts development grants through City of Melbourne (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, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, 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 Centre for the Moving Image, 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 University of Melbourne’s Stella Mary Langford Post Graduate Scholarship. 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