In 2006 I was fortunate enough to be funded by the Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy to undertake a 3 month artist residency in Hospitalfield House, Arbroath.
Hospitalfield House is a stunning mansion house, still predominantly furnished by the last owner/occupants Patrick and Elizabeth Allan-Fraser.
‘(Julia Dougla’s) work delicately looks at the ideas of restoration, care of and respect for history.’
The Skinny, 31/01/07
Screen print on cotton
While I was in residence I was trusted to touch the objects, rummage through cupboards and use the furniture. Whilst browsing through the books in the library I came across The Queen, The Lady’s Newspaper, in which were instructions for napkin folding. This gave me the idea for my Willow Pattern napkin design: decorative, interactive and functional.
Also printed in red and pink, and black and grey. To purchase Fold-It napkins please email me.
The Family Silver
Hand-made paper casts and ink
The last people to own and live in Hospitalfield House were Patrick and Elizabeth Allan-Fraser. Despite having maids, gardeners and constant visitors to the house, there were only two people in this family and I wondered if a sense of loneliness and a longing for children existed. I needed to make only two monogrammed sets of cutlery to complete this family set.
Photograph by Ivon Bartholomew
Digital print on card and screen-print on sticking plasters
Dimensions: 10 x 8.5 x 4 cm
Whilst in the house I felt that the treasured furniture and crockery contained the spirit of the previous owners; they had a presence and kept me company when I was alone, and so, remembering the house’s earlier history as a hospital, I mended the damaged objects using medical means, caring for them as one would a human body.
‘What you really collect is always yourself‘ Jean Baudrillard
This piece was awarded the RSA Ottillie Helen Wallace Prize in the Royal Scottish Academy’s Annual Exhibition in 2007.
Main photo by Ivon Bartholomew
Needlepoint and screen print
There were many chairs upholstered in needlepoint in the house and I wanted to make a piece where what was printed on the fabric was not the same as what had been stitched on top, a hidden story.
Photos by Colin Usher
Implements for Preservation
Framed Dimensions: 90x28cm
Whilst in the house I was trusted to touch the objects, rummage through cupboards and use the furniture. I found a lovely old first aid box with these objects inside. One of which has the handwriting of Patrick Allan-Fraser, the man who left the house as a charity to encourage artists, on his death in 1890.
Screen print on paper plates
Using a beautiful, hand painted, ceramic Willow Pattern plate found in the house as a model, I created a series of cheap, disposable copies. Though the pattern is the same, the serial plates physical attributes are distinctly inferior; they are flimsy paper rather than tactile ceramic; to be disposed of rather than treasured; and printed, rather than hand painted.
I felt that the furniture in the house still contained the spirit of the previous owners Elizabeth and Patrick Allan-Fraser, and so, remembering the house’s earlier history as a hospital, I mended the damaged objects using medical means, caring for them as one would a human body.
‘In Residence’, Royal Scottish Academy
The residency culminated in an exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, in 2007, where I showed work alongside two other RSA funded Artists in Residence, Miranda Blennerhasset and Catriona Grant.
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