The Julia Mandle project

New York artist Julia Mandle has been based in the Netherlands for several years. This autumn, she will be working with students at the University of Amsterdam on topics she has already explored during her last two residencies in Italy and France.

During her residency in Borgo di Gello in Tuscany, she became fascinated with rocks that had shaped landscapes and were later used to build the ancestral homes that today lie abandoned. Talking to locals, she met a seamstress who helped her assemble traditional fabrics to cover the rocks. Visitors were surprised to come across her works of art subtly placed in different parts of the village, as an ode to nature and to the town’s founders.

In Paris, she turned her attention to non-recyclable objects that pollute the environment, such as discarded umbrellas. This led her to discover the unique know-how of Pep’s Repair Shop, one of the few workshops in the world to specialise in repairing and recycling umbrellas and parasols. All of this fed into her own work and to the classes she teaches at the University of Amsterdam around recycling and the environment. She invites members of the public to send her photographs of discarded umbrellas or to collect them for future art performances. With climate change here to stay, this is sure to be continued!

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