First published: Winter 2017
Julia Göransson is 27 years old and works at Inuti Ateljé in Stockholm, where people who have intellectual disabilities or are on the autistic spectrum make art. Her art is bold and decisive, much like she herself is. Each morning at Inuti, she goes through the daily newspaper, reading the pictures in her own way and studying the words. Sometimes she copies letters, words or sentences, combining them with drawings made from the pictures. The way that she brings these aspects together gives them new meaning that often has a surprising, sharp edge.
Untitled, 2016, crayon and pencil on paper, 16.5 x 11.8 ins. / 42 x 30 cm
Over the years, Göransson has been interested in different subjects. One was the human body (both outside and inside), and she studied nude paintings in books. At first she was surprised to see them, and asked if it was really alright to paint naked people, then she started to copy historical paintings with nudes in them, before painting her own nudes and telling stories about them. She studied anatomy via medical drawings and a real skeleton, and after many sketches made her own version of an anatomical model of the contents of a human torso with all the internal organs. It was exhibited in 2013 at Sofiero Castle in Helsingborg, Sweden. Göransson also painted skeletons with extra bones, filling a large-format book that was shown in an exhibition in Japan in spring 2016.
When she first started coming to the Inuti studio seven years ago, Göransson had a strong desire to make a dress with a long, wide skirt. She had fully visualised the complete design. After being shown how to use the sewing machine and cut patterns, she made a beautiful, collage-like pattern by stitching small pieces of printed cotton on to the white material. Finally, she added a plastic hoop to the hem, to hold the material out, and wore it proudly at the Inuti annual party.
Her interests have also included Japanese figures, such as sumo wrestlers, geisha and samurai. A productive artist, she has been known to make over 20 charcoal drawings in a single day and has become known as the most prolific user of paper in the studio.
Recently, Göransson has been working with ceramics, decorating bowls and cups with different ornaments that change in a never-ceasing flow. Studio staff cast a few simple forms in clay – two round pots and a square one. She stirs and pours with tremendous energy, and often some pots are broken in the process, but Göransson will find a new interesting form, or glue the pieces together to create something new, such as a city of towers and domes. She also works with papier mâché, sticking paper together with water, glue or paint, then sculpting court ladies, a gigantic pair of red high heels, animals, a rollercoaster, or Moomin characters from her favourite stories.
This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #96