For nearly a decade, Shiels has transformed hundreds of abandoned objects on local streets with stencils of quotations and truisms Making use of discarded things and found text, these ephemeral works reveal the tensions of gentrification, impermanence and the passing of time. (2005 — 14)
These temporary interventions refer to stencil art and graffiti but without imposing an indelible mark on public or private property.
The work also mimics the conventions of advertising by using computer generated text and inserted into public places. The fonts suggest corporate branding and it only at a second glance that the content emerges. These interventions hopefully disrupt to the viewer’s acceptance of commercial interests as ‘ordinary’ in the natural order of the urban landscape.
A collection of photographs that record Julie Shiels ephemeral text interventions on urban waste has been published by M.33. As Long as it Lasts