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Julia-Anna Simonchuk
Contemporary Artist 

Artist researcher based in London, United Kingdom.

Originally from Kyiv, Ukraine.

Biography

Originally from Kyiv, Ukraine, Julia is currently based in London. She is a recent graduate from BA (Hons) Fine Art at Central Saint Martins (UAL) and is a current student on MA Fine Art at Slade (UCL). In 2023 she received UAL SU Arts Award in a category «Outstanding Student Contribution to Community» and was nominated for MullenLowe NOVA Awards.

 

Julia is working with various media, including sculpture, collage, installation, dance and performance and socially-engaging projects. She has experience in participating in cultural, theatrical and visual art events (e.g. Gogolfest, ProEnglish Theatre, both in Ukraine) and collaborative performance projects of CSM with Studio Wayne McGregor and the National Gallery. In September 2022 she organised and performed on a fundraiser classical music concert Sounds for Ukraine in St. Paul’s Actors Church Covent Garden, London. The event involved both critically-acclaimed pianists as well as talented amateurs performing classical pieces by celebrated composers and their own compositions inspired by Ukrainian music. She has an experience in designing posters (UCL academic event) and album cover («Alternative Readings», Michael Finnissy).

 

In 2021 Julia was a presenter at Post-Socialism and Art symposium at TrAIN research centre, organized by Dr Nela Milic and since then has been following and is starting to be involved in activity of the community of artists and scholars working with the questions of power, ideology, decolonisation, Eastern European art and history and memory studies.

Artist Statement

In my research and practice I am exploring ideas around power, ideology, cultural identity, historical memory and time. The focus is on the urban and the natural landscapes in relation to ideology, specifically - architecture under totalitarian regimes. I am engaging with the conversation around Soviet monumentalism and the approaches to its demonumentalisation in my home country – Ukraine. I am looking at these themes  in conjunction with the concept of the uncanny. 

Since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the russian federation in 2022 I have been reflecting on the function of art and the role of an artist in society -  the questions of politics of culture and public art and who it serves. Whether an artist has agency for making a change and what could be the ways of contributing to resistance to tyranny and lies using skills and platforms artists have. Also, my practice has shifted towards being more collaborative and socially-engaging.

 

Although addressing grand narratives & ideologies and debunking of those I normally work with a small scale and use delicate and fragile materials such as casting wax, foam board,  paper. This way I am reversing the meaning/nature of a phenomenon, trying to question, desacralise and subvert it. For instance, with a notion of the monumental - making works that are antonyms, direct opposites to what the word is associated with: grand, sublime, colossal, permanent becomes fragile, unstable, miniature in size and transient.

Education 

2023-2025

MA Fine Art, Slade, UCL

2020-2023

BA Fine Art, Central Saint Martins. 1st Class Honours

2019-2020

Foundation Diploma in Fine Art and Design, 

Central Saint Martins - University of Arts London  

2017

Short Courses - University of the Arts London - Fine Arts and Theatre Design at Central Saint Martins college and Fine Arts at Chelsea college

Professional Experience

2024

  • 'Re-Prise' - group show at the OPENING, Koppel Project, London. Link

  • Album cover art design 'Alternative Readings' by Michael Finnissy (label: Métier). Release: March 2024. Link

2023

  • Slade Postgraduate interim showcase. Link

  • Event in a context of a project: Camouflage. Wings We DesireSt Andrew's Chruch. 4th and 6th June. Link

  • Presenter at Central and Eastern European Creatives Network event hosted by Centrala. Link

  • Poster design (based on Jonas Staal painting) for 'Socialist Anthropocene in Visual Art. Project' by Maja and Reuben Fowkes (Postsocialist Art Centre UCL).

  • CSM Open Studios, showcasing 'Regaining Paradises'. Link

2022

  • 'I Dance the Other' (collaboration of CSM BA Fine Art and Studio Wayne McGregor

  • 'Touched' (CSM BA Fine Art and the National Gallery) - participant at Yasse Saidi's performances. Link

  • CSM Open Studios, showcasing 'Monumental Threat'. Link

  • USU Fundraiser Gala for Ukraine. Link

  • 'Sounds for Ukraine' - a fundraising piano concert in support of Ukraine, which took place in St Paul's Actors Church Covent Garden. Julia was in charge of organization, management, performance, communication and advertisement. Link

2021

2020

2019

  • Group show 'Painting Beyond Itself' at the Bomb Factory, London. Link

2018

  • Illustration accompaniment to a literature event - Dramgurtok at Gogolfest, Vinnytsia

  • Internship in the educational department of the Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv

2017

  • Participation in a performance "Freedom to be yourself” by Daria Koltsova at He for She Art Week, Kyiv

  • Internship as an assistant in communication at the Unit.City Art Prize, Kyiv

2016

  • ​Personal exhibition in Maisteriya gallery at The House of Artist, Kyiv

Awards and Nominations
2023

Arts Awards UAL Prize for the Outstanding Student Contribution to Community Award. Link  

MullenLowe NOVA Awards Nomination. Link

Art Jobs: Artist of the Month (June 2023) Link 

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