Scottish-born Julie Johnson makes some of the most breathtaking glassworks after 25 years in the field. Often a combination of the most complicated techniques in blown glass making, from lampworking to Pâte de Verre kiln casting, her creations evoke the natural world with charming colours and subtlety.
The personal story of Johnson lends the piece tremendous intrinsic power. After going through some difficult losses in her life, the All About Birds collection became a means of therapy for working through her negative thoughts and emotions.
Johnson’s healing process is wonderfully distilled in the contours of the jar. Initially intended to represent a funeral urn and then canopic jar, it evolved in a positive light to store and protect feelings of hope and joy. In this way, the vessel addresses the universal experience of coming to terms with significant life events and readiness to move on.
Boasting great clarity and vivid posture, the glass bird is the soul of the work. It takes on the role as guardian of the intangible and emotional content stored inside the jar. The flying creature can also be seen as a symbol of freedom - a state of liberation from trauma.
All About Birds IV
by Julie Johnson
These beautifully sculpted birds perch watchful over their jars of treasure below. These art works are best explained further in the artist's own words:
"During an emotional period following the death of a friend, the terrorist attacks, Brexit and other more personal hurdles, I looked for ways to deal with these oppressive thoughts and feelings of sadness and fear through my work. The initial idea for the vessels were to represent funeral urns. This developed into the idea of canopic jars, to store the vital organs of the deceased. The work has evolved in such that they now store and protect feelings....Sadness, pain, fear, hope and joy. Guarded by the ever watchful sentinel."