Julie Nord: Dark Ink in the Studio 26 Nov 2010 – 16 Jan 2011

Media preview on Thursday, 25 November 2010, at 11am in Turku Art Museum, Aurakatu 26, Turku
The artist will be present on the media preview

The Studio at the Turku Art Museum presents Dark Ink by Danish artist Julie Nord (b. 1970). The exhibition opens to the public on 26 November 2010. Three large (188 x 245 cm) sheets of paper filled with drawings are mounted on the black wall of the Studio. They seem decorative, even fragile at first glance. The works are full of exquisitely drawn details, new images and motifs. The spinechilling aspect of the works is revealed gradually. This new dimension opens up in the Homecoming Queen’s (2010) dress and in the cloud of smoke hanging over the city in The Smoke from the Chimney (2010). A spectral apparition in the middle of a background that looks like floral wallpaper frightens a little girl and a rabbit in her laps. Even the rabbit’s hair stands on end. Mouths and eyes intrude everywhere. A hand presses a switch. A rabbit takes a leap.

Julie Nord’s drawings take the viewer into a strange world. Surrounded by these works, one feels as if one has jumped into a rabbit hole as did Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). The place seems beautiful and alluring, but a closer look at Nord’s works makes you wonder. Why is the cat holding a child in its lap and not vice versa? The doll-like little girl has a pair of open scissors in her hand, which she could use to cut up the paper doll next to her. Or has the girl cut herself out from the paper?

Julie Nord’s imagery is very familiar. The drawings are filled with motifs borrowed not only from children’s stories but also from comics, tattoos, horror movies and shadow theatre. Yet there is something unknown and alien in them. Like ink, they transform into something new. Viewers soon find themselves swooning over what is a product of their own imagination, what is told by the images.

Although most of the works by Julie Nord are drawn very carefully, they also contain loosely executed pitch-black ink stains that seem to hide things, trickle down and attract, but also threaten. In The Painter (2009), the artist has no head. All that is left is an ink cloud. Is it alive? Although one can linger in the world of Julie Nord’s art and construct stories of one’s own, the pictures themselves seem like fleetingly glimpsed moments. They are akin to soundless shouting. The sound of a helicopter echoes inside the viewer’s head. Things are indeed not the way they seem to be.

Some of the works in Julie Nord’s Dark Ink exhibition are murals. The exhibition is supported by the Finnish-Danish Cultural Foundation


Thursday, 25 November 2011, starting at 2pm, Julie Nord will give a talk in English about her artistic practice in the Kuvateatteri of the Turku Arts Academy (Linnankatu 54–60), Turku. Admission is free and the meeting is open to the public.    

Additional information:

Jenny Nybom, Curator
Tel. +358 (0)2 262 7094 or +358 (0)50 400 3248

Turun taidemuseo, Aurakatu 26, 20100 Turku, Puh. 02 2627 100. © 2018