Gracefield Arts Centre

Google-MapFor an Academic year, from 2000 to 2001, I was Artist in Residence on the Creative Education Scheme, through Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries.

When I applied for the post I had no idea of the vast size of Dumfries & Galloway and so was a little surprised to find myself based in Stranraer Academy, 72 miles from the Arts Centre!

I had a studio in the old toilet block of the Academy and cycled in each morning (or took the school bus on a windy day) from the lovely, teeny wee village of Kirkolm, 6.6 miles north of Stranraer. Kirkcolm is on the northern tip of the Rhinns of Galloway peninsula, bounded on the north and west by the sea, on the east by the bay of Loch Ryan and on the south by the area of Leswalt. Stunningly remote!

The residency included working with students towards their Higher Still exam and holding a weekly open studio session.

Stranaer Academy


D.I.Y. Home Comforts

Julia Douglas, DIY Home Comforts

Dimensions variable, pack: 23x16cm

Digital prints on paper – Limited edition of 20

When thinking about which household objects I needed most to make me feel at home I was particularly drawn to bread knives, cheese-graters and corkscrews (as bread, cheese and wine are my ultimate comfort foods!) and decided to create a pattern for each of them so that I would never have to be without. I also wanted to transform these hard, sharp and vicious objects into soft ones to make them appear more comforting and so DIY Home Comforts is in the style of a dressmaking pattern.

Awarded the Sally Schofield Memorial Prize at Visual Art Scotland in 2006.

This artwork was also used by The Graeme Mearns Band for their truly brilliant album Some Kind of Bliss and a number of limited edition hand screen-printed tea-towels and bottle bags.

And so my obsession with the cheesegrater began.

DIY Home Comforts (knitted), Cheesecloth (whitework embroidery) and DIY Home Comforts (felted)

Julia Douglas, Cheesegraters

Julia Douglas, Full Fat, Stranraer Museum

Oven Ready

Julia Douglas, Oven Ready

Branded cotton, elastic and wadding

Like the expression ‘chained to the cooker’ the wearer of these oven gloves is ‘oven ready’ at all times. The elastic attached to the oven gloves implies that they would be worn constantly; a reminder of when we were young and our mums would sew elastic onto our mittens, to wear up our sleeves so that they wouldn’t be lost. The owner of this pair has worn them so much that their handprint has been branded onto the glove.




Carpet Slippers

C-Type print of plastic carpet protection slippers – Limited edition of 5

I am interested in the obsessive approach some people have to cleaning.
The use of plastic to protect your carpet seems bizarre to me; overprotective of a carpet and unattractive! Why not try these glamorous slippers instead?







Dusters, disposable plastic shoe covers, thread

I am interested in the obsessive approach some people have to cleaning. The obsessive is unable to stop and so may choose to wear these slippers in order to continue to dust and polish the floors as they go. The shoes are lined with plastic like that worn over the feet in a hospital to protect the environment from germs and dirt, but here they protect the feet from the dirty environment.



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