EMBROIDERED ANATOMY, JULIE CAMPBELL BRINGS AN ABUNDANCE OF DETAIL TO LIFE THROUGH STITCH

I live in a small town close to Brussels and work from home. I studied Applied Graphics in the mid 80’s, it was a really great and inspiring time to be young, I still love 80’s music and fashion. 


How long have you been exploring the art of stitching? How were you introduced to it?

I stopped working after my son was born but carried on illustrating and being part of group exhibitions here in Belgium.


Can you tell us a little bit about your style? How has it progressed, or changed, over the years?

I’ve always been fascinated by the human body and its workings and followed evening classes in Anatomy and Pathology which I loved and fueled my passion for the subject. I was especially attracted to the medical illustrations in our text books.


What influenced your love for mixing art and anatomy?

In 2014 M Museum in Louvain hosted an exhibition to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Andreas Vesalius, one of the most important figures in modern medicine. It had a profound effect on me and was the beginning of new work based around the theme of the human body, its Anatomy and workings.




Where does your inspiration for each piece come from? What is your process?

As a mother of a chronically ill daughter I have spent a lot of time engaging with the medical profession to little avail. I was thrown into the reality of researching Lyme disease, I have learnt a considerable amount on auto-immune illnesses, pathogens and parasites..


What fascinates you the most about what you do? What's most challenging?

What I find fascinating is that our outward appearance tells very little of the person we are. Our bodies are a facade. I like to explore beyond that idea and get under the skin as it were.


Have you ever considered exploring the option of apparel, home decor, or patches?

I picked up embroidery last Autumn, after years of drawing I wanted to try something new. My first piece was an anatomical heart, after it was finished I realized I had finally found something that I really loved doing. I find embroidery very similar to drawing only using needle and thread instead of paper and pencil. I’ve always had quite a precise style of work and this has translated into my embroidery too. I have next to no knowledge of the different types of stitches or the “proper’ way to sew, I just draw the outline of the image I want to portray and then start. I love watching a piece grow, placing that first stitch and seeing where it takes me.




How do you stay motivated and creative?

I’m at home a lot with my daughter and find that embroidery gives me a positive focus. It’s calming and helps me deal with the stress of the situation that we have found ourselves in.


Do you feel as though everyone has a bit of artistic ability inside of them or some are just born with it?

Well, I do think everybody has a bit of artistic ability. I just think each one has different amount. Some one have a small amount, some have a lot. Just like how everyone has different amounts of athletic abilities.


How would you describe what art means to you?

Art is very personal and we all have different tastes and ideas of what art is. I have been amazed at peoples reaction and enthusiasm to my work. Getting such positive feedback makes me want to create more.


What are your goals for 2018?

I don’t know what direction my work will take me but I would love to be able to find galleries that are interested in my work or representing me. I will be showing my work for the first time in a gallery here in Belgium in November. I will be exhibiting with Helen Tyrrell (www.helentyrrell.eu). The theme will be based around the human body. I am looking forward to hearing people’s feedback as a photo is always different from seeing the ‘real thing’.Most importantly for me is that I carry on enjoying what I am doing, the day that it feels that it has become a chore or the passion for doing it fades is the day I will stop.


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