Since graduating from the Royal College of Art, Julia Gurney has worked with a range of different media and subjects, including portraits and cityscapes. On moving to Helensburgh 27 years ago it was the beauty of the West Coast of Scotland which caught her imagination, motivating her to develop a way of capturing the effect on those landscapes of the ever changing light and moods resulting from the varying weather conditions.
The stimulus of painting a particular place is important to Julia. First hand experience of that place and time, ensuring direct contact with nature, is a discipline which she imposes rigorously on her work. This discipline informs her main preoccupation, which is to convey the flux of the weather and the sense of imminent change which results from that; approaching rain, skies clearing after a storm, lifting mist, dying light and so on. Her main challenge is to reflect the character of light cast upon the landscape from dynamic skies.
Julia Gurney studied at the Bath Academy of Art (BA Hons Fine Art) and achieved an MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art in 1980. This was followed by a period at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. She is a member of the Glasgow Society of Women Artists and The Paisley Art Institute.
Notable exhibitions have been the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (1981-89) in London, the John Player Portrait Award Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery (1984) and the British Watercolour Exhibition at London’s Bankside Gallery (1984 -1989). Julia has exhibited widely in the UK.
Selected exhibitions: Lillie Gallery, Milngavie The Torrance Gallery, Edinburgh Art Exposure, Glasgow The Kelly Gallery, Glasgow The Seagull Gallery, Gourock Morningside Gallery, Edinburgh Eastwood Theatre, Giffnock Maclaurin Gallery, Ayr Red Barn Gallery, Cumbria Salisbury Playhouse The Wykeham Gallery, Stockbridge.
Awards: Royal College of Art Travel Scholarship John Minton Award The Lauder Award GSWA.
Collections: The Contemporary Art Society The Leicestershire Collection The Open University Milton Keynes Bibliography: Contributions to the “Encyclopaedia of Watercolour Techniques”, by Hazel Harrison.