Julia Holderness

Julia Holderness

Visite du Jardin avec Florence Weir, 2023, watercolour on paper, 310mm x 330mm


Julia Holderness lives and works in Otautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury in 2002 and an Honours in Visual Arts at AUT University, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland in 2015. In 2022 Holderness completed a Visual Arts PhD in practice-led research at AUT University. Her thesis titled “Ever Present Archiving: methodologies for art histories through invention, fabrication and social practice” explores archives and their construction of art-historical narratives. Her practice and outputs are often collaborative and she works alongside both historic and current artists. In creating narratives that might or might not have existed – encompassing artists, groups, movements, and exhibitions – her research practice deliberates on the role of fiction in both the collection and interpretation of material histories. She critiques traditionally held divides between art historical scholarship and artistic fabrication. Through the use of invented personae, artworks and exhibitions, Holderness traces alternative histories of modernism in Aotearoa New Zealand. Her installations combine mixed media fabrications, often textile and ceramic making with historical materials from art and design archives. She also produces sound and text works within these installations. Holderness’s collaborative work as Fitts & Holderness has seen her participate in exhibitions and residencies both nationally and internationally.

Julia Holderness was awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Doctoral Scholarship and won the Glaister Ennor Graduate Art Award in 2016. Other projects include her PhD exhibition Schemes for Vibrant Living at Te Wai Ngutu Kākā Gallery, AUT, The Studio, which was developed for Dunedin Public Art Gallery in 2021, Florence & Florence: Other Textile Histories presented at Ilam Campus Gallery in 2018 and Gallery 91 for SCAPE Public Art in 2017. This year Holderness is taking part in the exhibition Living Room, an exhibition with Objectspace Otautahi at the Sir Miles Warren Gallery, curated by Kim Paton and Caroline Billing exploring how we design and adorn domestic spaces as an act of self-expression.



BORN: Otautahi Christchurch, New Zealand, 1980

LIVES: Otautahi Christchurch

EDUCATION: PhD "Ever Present Archiving: methodologies for art histories through invention, fabrication and social practice"(Visual Arts, University of Technology, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (2016 - 2022); Honours, Visual Arts, University of Technology, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (2015); Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury, Otautahi Christchurch (1999 – 2002)

PUBLIC EXHIBITIONS: Living Room, Objectspace Otautahi at the Sir Miles Warren Gallery (2023); Crosses & Losses, Wallace Arts Trust at Pah Homestead, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (2022); Florence Weir: a poster archive & Schemes for Vibrant Living, AUT ST Paul St Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (2022). The Studio, The National, Otautahi Christchurch (2022), December Group Show, The National, Otautahi Christchurch (2021), The Studio, Dunedin Public Art Gallery (2021), Summer show, The National, Otautahi Christchurch (2019), Florence & Florence: other textile histories, Ilam Campus Gallery, Otautahi Christchurch (2018); Overlooked Details, Bartley and Company Art, Poneke Wellington (2018); Gallery 91, Otautahi Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Whaiwhetu, SCAPE Public Art 2017 (2017); Book Covers: Textiles of the Bauhaus, Sanderson Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (2017); Gallery 91, Aigantighe Art Gallery, Timaru (2018); Sun Faded Carpet/He’s Jealous, Malcolm Smith Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (2017); The Group: Home-wares, The National, Otautahi Christchurch (2016);The Group: Home-wares, Objectspace, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (2016); Reappraisal: a pots and vessels show, Corban Estate Arts Centre, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, 2016; Florence & Friends, Flotsam & Jetsam, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (2016); For the Time Being, ST Paul St Gallery Three, AUT, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (2016); Rekindle: Auckland Design series, Allpress Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (2014); The Speaker, Tiny Stadiums, Live Art weekend, Sydney, Australia (2012); Operation Tully: a documentary, It's Moving From I to It, Scene 3: Not surprisingly, he is wearing gloves, Eastside Projects, Birmingham, United Kingdom(Fitts & Holderness) (2012); SUNDOWN, (October), curated by Sydney Guild for The Paper Mill, Sydney, Australia (2011); Talking Pictures, Artspace, Sydney, Australia (Fitts & Holderness) (2011); Ása Ragnarsdóttir: Six interviews in Reykjavik inObject Lessons: A Musical Fiction, Adam Art Gallery, Poneke Wellington, (2010); Holloway Road #7-1, Reasonable Force, Rm103, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland; (Fitts & Holderness) (2010); Holloway Road: The Alleged Visitation by L.M. Screen tests by Fitts & Holderness; Enjoy Gallery, Poneke Wellington(2009)

AWARDS: Winner of the Glaister Ennor Graduate Award (2016); Vice Chancellor’s Doctoral Scholarship, AUT, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (until 2015 -2019); Bickerton - Widowson Prize for Excellence in Fine Arts, University of Canterbury (2002)

RESIDENCIES: ArtSpace, Sydney, Australia (Fitts & Holderness) (2011); SIM RES, Reykjavik, Iceland (Fitts & Holderness) (2010)

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Baker, Kirsty. “Fragments & Fabrications: Julia Holderness and Florence Weir” in Art New Zealand 187: Spring 2023, p69-73; Lines, Alice. “Fiction & Fact: Interview with Artist Julia Holderness” In HomeStyle Magazine August/ September 2023, p. 44-49; Schierning, A.D, ‘The Group: Home-wares. Julia Holderness, 2016’ Objectspace, 30/06/2016 Accessed 24/11/2023; Holderness, Julia and Thomasin Sleigh, “A Productive Refusal” Flora Scales Essays, Published 2023,, Accessed 24/11/23; Brandbury, Grant. “Holderness’ ‘The Studio’ in Otepoti Dunedin” Review in Eye Contact, 12 Dec 2021,, Accessed 24/11/23

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