Julie Gladstone is a Canadian visual artist working in abstract painting, installation and sculpture. Gladstone's work reveals facets of the landscape that are hidden from view so as to provide perspective on the human experience of living on earth. Her work considers the passage of time, the metaphysical realm, the microscopic and macroscopic view, things that are buried under the ground and things in outer space. By incorporating all of these elements and perspectives, Gladstone's interpretation of the everyday landscape is revealed through a multi faceted abstract language that explores the aesthetics of the urban landscape, the emotional impact of climate change and environmental destruction, the intersections between consumer culture, the digital realm, contemporary spirituality and how our society experiences nature, and a consideration of our place in the Universe. Her work has been supported by the Toronto and Ontario Arts Council and the Government of Quebec. Gladstone’s work has received attention from CBC Arts, The Guardian, TorontoLife, Notable.CA, and View on Canadian Art and can be found in collections across Canada, the United States and Europe.
Born in Toronto in 1979, Gladstone grew up in an artistic and musical family where she studied classical piano from the age of 6 through the Royal Conservatory program. During her teenage years she became involved in environmental activism and worked with groups such as Earthroots and Toronto Environmental Agency. During this time, she began to study Meditation and Yoga and went on to spend a year living and teaching in Mexico.
Upon returning to Canada, Gladstone moved to Montreal where she received a BFA from Concordia University in painting, drawing and film studies in 2008. A fire at an exhibition venue which severely damaged a series of her figurative works and created interesting surface texture on the canvases, was the instagating factor in the artists move towards abstraction, and an interest in working with themes of the urban landscape, surface texture and impermanence.
As Gladstone's grandfather was an archeologist and the founder of a marine museum in Isreal, she grew up visiting archeological sites and exploring ancient cities, deserts and artifacts. These influences in contrast with the Canadian urban landscape, a heightened awareness of impemanence, and a deepening of meditation studies began to inform her painting aesthetic, and solidified an underlying motivation to provide a range of perspectives on landscape and the passage of time in her work.
From 2008 - 10 Gladstone worked at Red Bird studios and exhibited and collaborated with local artists in the Mile End in Montreal. She received a grant from the Government of Quebec and mentored with Michelle Lacombe from Articule Gallery. After this period, Gladstone went to Vancouver and Haida Gwaii where she worked in the rare books collection and exhibited paintings at the Haida Heritage Centre.
Gladstone returned to Toronto where she found Gallery reprentation and had two solo exhibitions with Walnut Contemporary from 2011 - 2014, The Sky is Falling and Metaphysical Cartography. During this period of time, Gladstone also studied Traditional Chinese Medicine, recieved her diploma of Acupuncture in Toronto and completed a mentorship in Alchemical Healing with Lorie Dechar in New York.
Between 2014 - 2016 she won the Artscape Award at the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, was awarded a residency and a solo show at Artscape Youngplace and received the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers (CSCE) Emerging Artist Award at an awards ceremony at the Art Gallery of Alberta. She was an invited artist at SIM International Artist Residency in Reykjavik, Iceland where she explored ideas related to the Contemporary Sublime and the intersections between tourism, nature, mythology and human detritus . During this period, she also began to work with Navilus Gallery in Yorkville, Toronto where she had a solo show Infinity Pool, and was included in multiple group exhibitions.
Other notable group exhibitions during this period include 15 Hot Artists To Watch at Canadian Fine Arts Gallery, Full Spectrum at Living Arts Centre(Mississauga), Weather at Pearson International Airport, Tallahasee International FSU Museum (Florida) BUFF?? at SIM Gallery (Iceland) and art auctions including ArtSida(Montreal) Varley Gallery (Unionville) and Vibe Arts (curated by Angell Gallery).
During an artist residency at Artscape Gibraltar point in 2016, Gladstone's practice moved into the production of 3D works and installation. The “Extreme Cloud Gazing” and “Adopt an Extreme Cloud” installation have gone on to be exhibited in the Grow-Op Contemporary Art Exhibition, at the House of VR Gallery and as a window installation at Earlscourt Gallery in Hamilton and have received extensive media attention including a feature by CBC Arts .
In 2017 Gladstone spent a year directing a multi use space in the Annex for contemporary art and healing arts and curating a series of exhibitions featuring emerging Canadian artists whose work explores nature and contemporary spirituality. Gallery 555 currently operates as an online contemporary art platform.
As of 2018 Gladstone is working as a full time artist based in Toronto. She is currently exhibiting a series of works including 25 paintings and 6 sculptures from 2012 - 2017 at the Canadian Department of Heritage in Toronto where she also recently gave an artists talk.
All images on this website are property of Julie Gladstone and may not be used or reproduced in any form without written permission from the artist.