Julie Bartholomew

1956 - Transitional Bodies 2004 - 2006 ceramic, wood and digital installation (not displayed) variable dimensions Collection Shepparton Art Museum, acquired under the Arts Victoria Regional Galleries Collection Fund, 2006 2006.13.1-7 ©courtesy the artist and Sabbia Gallery

Artist Statement

While in Tokyo I spent many hours sitting on trains moving through the Yamamoto or inner city subway circuit. This is a continuous loop that traverses the major commercial suburbs of Tokyo. I began to understand that Tokyo train travel is precious “time-out” for its citizens. Although the carriages and views through the train windows are filled with advertising imagery, many passengers use this time to close their eyes and sleep, even while standing with one hand holding the support handle. Train travellers often keep their eyes closed for the duration of their trip having developed an instinct for waking-up at their stop. 

These experiences informed the digital/object installation entitled Transitional Bodies. It consists of four naked life-size female figures sitting with closed eyes, as if traversing Tokyo's subway system. I refer to them as transitional figures because they are metaphorically, in between train stops, but also in between sleeping and waking, fixity and action. They embody references to homogeneity but also affirm the distinctness of the individual bodies from which they were cast.

Julie Bartholomew 2009