Julia Tiffin has a background in contemporary art working with installation art, photography, drawing, sculptural elements, earth, water and smells. Her work was groundbreaking in the South African photography scene and led her to exhibit at National Galleries, Museums, Biennales and galleries worldwide (New York, Washington, Germany, France, China, Mali, Brazil & South Africa). She was included in the first ever group show of South African artists in the USA, and is included in the international award-winning French publication, The Anthology of African Photographers.
She was ultimately a lover of large-scale drawings and a sculptor who chose photography as her primary medium of expression and approached photography as a plastic art maker and not a two-dimensional art maker, with a strong connection to the sensory world. She landed on the world stage with a body of work known as Skin I Beauty & Decay from her early 20s. She took images of hands and the body printed on exquisite fibre photographic paper, and allowed these images to decay. The photographs printed on this fibre paper became like pieces of skin themselves and she decayed and transformed them. They were mould-ridden, scarred with acid, putrefying, but through this process evolved a lifelong passion in life and death I beauty and decay and the alchemy of transformation, as she arrested the fermentation process, took these images and re-photographed them, highlighting the beauty of the rotting and transformational process. Her passion in transforming any situation from one state to another was birthed through this process.
She took this further in her 2002 solo show Buried Alive, where “conceptually ‘Buried Alive’ draws from the metaphor of the seed”, something which requires burial in order to germinate. In this way, the grave becomes a symbol of the womb, a fecund regenerative space, while the water lapping around the glass container is reminiscent of amniotic fluid. [From a media review in ArtThrob by Nikki Winward Cross, 2005] [see video below]
Her other solo shows were titled, Blindfold I, Noah’s Ark and Lifting the Veil. Enjoy a selection of the eclectic work of Julia Tiffin from larger scale to smaller scale works in her early years in this video below.
She immersed herself in the world of art until hanging up her brushes, tools and camera in 2006 to learn more about this invisible art of transformation by learning about ancient metaphysics. She never intended to put this away forever, but chose to immerse herself in learning how to transform her own inner world profoundly as well as teaching others about this ancient art, before returning to her art with renewed eyes and an elevated spirit. She is now returning to explore her deep passion for visual language and is now informing her work with a much deeper understanding of the invisible world that seeks to express itself through the medium of art. (To learn more about Julia’s background in metaphysics training, click here.)
She has recently (August 2021) developed a series of art prints as a very different body of work from previous works. To view the new art prints, click here. She has been developing concepts around ART I meets I METAPHYSICS in her passionate quest to explore the journey of more holistic conversations around contemporary art where the intellectual circles of contemporary art appreciation can more fully embrace the metaphysical and journeys of the spirit and soul.
To view Julia’s background, artist portfolio, media reviews and shows, click below to further explore her background:
Recent Drawing Series
As part of her process of working with history, time and evolution over the course of time, she has reached back into her own history and looked at drawings done at the inception of her art career and brought them into her current world of metaphysics. Her great passion of leading others to find the gold within (a concept from Alchemy) involves finding that which lights your heart on fire to truly find yourself.
These drawings are really about a path of return (to yourself) that all humans need to make, and the clues as to what lights up your soul are often found in your earlier years. These original drawings from 1995 are infused with a soul on fire and are now finding their place in 2021 as they are blended with photographic elements (photography meaning drawing with light) and sacred geometry. These images are intended to work in a similar way to some of the images from Alchemy from around the 16th century, where there were hidden clues in the images that could open important gateways in the soul by using sacred geometry and references to the metaphysics of creation.
This work is very different to Julia’s contemporary art background in that, instead of producing installations intended for the hallowed halls of art in museums and galleries, this work consists of a series of prints that are intended for the personal space of individuals to assist with the journey of transformation on a daily basis. This work is intended to hang on the halls of homes & everyday spaces to support a journey back to Body, Soul & Spirit. Our visual landscape truely informs how we think and function, and having an image infused with the ancient language of transformation can open gates within you to assist in a personal awakening journey.
The use of hands is another theme that has informed Julia’s work, and the real significance of this became clarified through deeper metaphysical studies. All the power to transform your life truly lies in your hands: instead of being victims of circumstance, the hands remind you of your ability to create and to re-create your life in ways other sentient beings do not! The power of creation and re-creation humans hold in their hands is huge. These images are fused with this understanding that you hold this power in your hands, and all the elements & energies required to truly change your reality are held in your hands.