Lydia Julien has used photographic film almost exclusively in her practice for many years. She has chosen to remain faithful to 127 film, hand-printing the photographs in the dark room.
Her approach to the project is to create a series of photographs of places of personal importance to her. She is revisiting areas where she has lived, worked or sites that are connected with particular events in her life.
While these locations cannot have an identical emotional impact for the viewer, the photographs and final installation convey the charge of memory and loss felt by the artist. In documenting the now fast changing nature of the city, it is correspondingly a story of inherent failure and the unstable nature of memory.
Lydia Julien, Brick Lane/Royal London (2015)
Lydia Julien writes: My Brownie camera becomes a source of wonder and puzzlement for some people and possibility of recognition. I really love the attention and ostentatiously get it out and wind it on.
Lydia Julien is a London based visual and performance artist. Often working within sequences, she interlaces narratives based loosely upon personal or abstract experience, consciously intangible in nature. Using the self as subject, the work is often bound within analogue processes, primarily photographic works and artist books.
“Largely autobiographical, Julien describes her images as ‘autoportraits’ in which the camera is the tool used for negotiating ‘society and its spaces’, an experience central to the formation of subjectivity ... Julien’s series weaves narratives of self and otherness - at once real and imagined - from the marginal interior spaces of culture and everyday life.” (Dr Harriet Riches, 'Negotiating Interiority: Narratives of Displacement and Belonging in the Autoportaits of Lydia Maria Julien', in Massey, A. and Sparke, P. eds, Biography, Identity and the Modern Interior, Routledge 2013.)