Julia Dwinell

(Wrentham, Massachusetts)

This image of a wall comforts me. On this cool purple wall hangs many items. First, a birdhouse wind chime dangles down on the left hand side. It appears to be winter-themed, but could honestly fit with any season. Behind it are a few pairs of scissors and other miscellaneous tools. In the center is what looks to me like a bird feeder. To its right is a set of keys. Falling over the right side of the piece is a large, well-taken-care-of plant and a terrarium with its own plant.

Interior spaces hold a lot of personality and are very much a reflection of the times. Although interiors are strict, structurally sound spaces, they have a lot of personality and meaning through their decoration and the objects they hold. I feel connected through these spaces because I know there is a history behind how each space was created. I enjoy taking these interiors and adding my own personality to them as my paintings are quiet, subdued, and detail oriented.

This series of paintings shows abandoned interior spaces that I have interacted with in my lifetime before they were vacated. The scenes explore the unique identities of these spaces as they exist unoccupied today. In a time where everyone is confined to their homes, it seems strange to have these empty spaces stuck in time and untouched by the pandemic.

I have inserted myself into each interior by physically staging my own house plants within them. Some of the plants depicted occur multiple times throughout the series showing the plants’ growth over the duration in which these paintings were made. This new plant growth is juxtaposed with the old interior styles of the rooms or the worn down, crumbling of the building itself.

This piece is a view of a kitchen. The red and white checkered tiles feel characteristic of a stereotypical kitchen, but make the room feel nostalgic to me. The walls are yellow, and the backing of the stove is a tile. The white cupboards are gigantic and take up the right side of the piece; they are probably full of delicious food. One of the overhead cabinets is open, right over the sink, making the scene feel lived in to me. There are plants taking over the area, but it doesn’t give the sense that the place is abandoned; rather, the plants are really healthy and make the kitchen feel loved.
This is a very lively kitchen. The red and white striped curtains bring in some light to the pink cupboards. The space is very tight, adding to this sense of the area being well lived. The plants hanging from the side are taken care of, and the cabinets seem neat. The counter space, however, is very busy. There are many appliances over the small area. The sink is overrun with dishes; it’s almost like the painting was created to avoid washing these dishes.

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