Remnants

I’m fascinated by little remnants of things and leftover scraps: bits and pieces that would normally be overlooked or tossed away without a second thought. Everything–and everyone–has potential, possibility, and beauty…if we just know where to look.

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Remnants No. 1 // Mixed media on altered book pages by Julie Coombes, May 2016

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Expectations vs. Reality No. 3

This one happened by accident. I started cleaning up my art space (it looked more like a rubbish tip than a workspace!), and all these bits and pieces started calling to me.

From the expectation of cleaning, instead a new creation was born. Mixed media collage on paper (found and painted papers, burlap, threads, acrylic).

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Expectations vs. Reality No. 3 // Mixed media collage by Julie Coombes, c. 2016

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Say something NICE.

I have recently become completely a little bit obsessed with Missy, the Doctor’s utterly mad and villainous-yet-charming nemesis from seasons Eight and Nine of Doctor Who. Played by British actor Michelle Gomez, Missy takes many of the worst “feminine” tropes in television and completely subverts them.

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“Say something nice” // Mixed-media fabric collage by Julie Coombes, c. 2106

Her infamous catchphrase–which she uses right before she kills someone–is, “Say something nice”.  The phrase completely undermines the misogynist directives so many women hear throughout our lives: we are told to smile, to be nice, and that to do these things is our obligation as females. Missy owns all of that and turns it into a terrifying weapon (thanks both to Michelle’s performance and Stephen Moffat’s writing).

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Millinery and beading detail, “Say something nice” // Mixed-media fabric collage by Julie Coombes, c. 2106

Like Kali and Athena, Missy is a warrior-goddess and a total badass. I made this mixed-media fabric collage in her honor. The details and embellishments evoke the various elements of her costume (including the cameo, which is an exact replica of the on-screen original).

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Antique buttons and gel-transfer cameo detail of “Say something nice” // Mixed-media fabric collage by Julie Coombes c. 2106

The pair of vintage silver buttons in the lower right corner remind me of her selfie-phone-of-death.

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Embellishment detail of “Say something nice” // Mixed=media fabric collage by Julie Coombes, c. 2016

This piece is also dedicated to Michelle Gomez; she is a total badass in her own right. Her agent calls her “The Cockroach” because no matter how many times she gets squashed (British media is not much better than Hollywood towards women over 30), she keeps coming back. Any woman who at the age of 50 can portray an instantly internationally-beloved character with her own action figure is a hero in my eyes.

Go team cockroach!

 

 

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Expectations vs. Reality No. 1

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Expectations vs. Reality No. 1 // Mixed media fabric collage by Julie Coombes c. 2016

Tattered dreams…faded memories…pieced together to reveal patterns of a life well-worn.

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What is Art? (new piece: “Remembering Ten”)

What is art? Perhaps more importantly, does the question even matter? This piece explores the boundaries of craft, art, nostalgia, pop culture, and the masculine and feminine realms all at once.

I love it when I can combine a whole bunch of things that inspire me into one piece of artwork, and play around with those questions at the same time. “Remembering Ten” combines several things that make my heart sing: collage, fabric, printing, vintage trims and beads, embroidery, texture…and Doctor Who.

Fans of the Tenth Doctor will spot the references, and hopefully non-fans will simply enjoy the beauty of the piece. Is it art? Is it craft? Maybe it’s a hybrid — and maybe it doesn’t matter what you call it, so long as it makes someone think, or makes them happy –or both.

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“Remembering Ten” // Mixed media fabric collage by Julie Coombes c. 2016

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Detail, “Remembering Ten” // Mixed media fabric collage by Julie Coombes c. 2016 

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Another detail, “Remembering Ten” // Mixed media fabric collage by Julie Coombes c. 2016

 

 

 

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