The idea of turning photography into immersive art came to Juliette Scott after attending a photography course in Morocco. One could say that the course was a turning point in Juliette’s creative career. Starting her professional life at Bonham’s Auction House in London and then in interior design, learning about photography ignited a creative spark to explore as her chosen art medium. Since then, she has been creating her art pieces using diverse genres of photography and post production techniques. Here is her story so far..
Can you tell us your backstory and how you got into the art world?
Art in varying forms has always played a big role in my life. As a very little girl I was always fascinated by colour, I spent hours arranging my Caran d’Ache coloured pencils and loved colouring in. As I grew older, I taught myself how to do italic writing (I was convinced that it would get me a few more points in essays!) and I went on to do A Level in Art prior to reading History of Art at Nottingham University.
I adored my 3-year course and was determined to use my knowledge. I managed to get a job at Bonham’s Auction House in London, and this was a joy as the opportunity to see stunning paintings, jewellery, and furniture etc was never-ending.
Several years on, after various other art related jobs, I married and moved to Northumberland. I was still interested in art, my biggest passion is going to exhibitions, but I also took up practical art again in the form of the decorative arts. In sync with trends at the time, I learnt how to do decoupage, gilding and various paint finishes suitable for walls and furniture.
I sold quite a few of my various handmade decorative products through an interior design shop. I was becoming increasingly interested in Interior Design so a few months after the birth of our second daughter I enrolled on a long-distance diploma course with KLC school of Design in London. This was a great course and eventually it gave me the confidence to set up as an interior designer. I worked in this field for about 14 years doing both residential and commercial projects.
I had always enjoyed taking photographs but in 2014 I decided that it was time to learn how to use a proper digital camera and went on a wonderful course to Morocco. I was totally new to the likes of aperture, shutter speed, composition, but I did have a good eye for colour and pattern and fell in love with photography and Morocco.
The teacher/tour leader was excellent and although I arrived with a £50 bridge camera from my husband’s auction house, at the end of the course he recommended that I purchased a camera which would allow me to attach different lenses and generally offer more scope. A few months later I received my Fuji XT1 for my birthday and my obsession and love of photography began.
I have been lucky enough to have been on several photography workshops abroad and in the UK. I have been taught by some superb photographers who specialise in different genres and techniques. Landscape, cityscape, florals are my go to subjects and although I enjoy taking ‘straight’ images I probably enjoy making slightly impressionistic or abstracted images more.
I use various techniques – intentional camera movement, multiple exposures, my macro lens in conjunction with a light pad, a flatbed scanner to name a few. I also love post processing as the options are limitless, I use Lightroom, Photoshop, and sometimes Procreate to create really unique images.
The process doesn’t always stop there, I have returned to some of the practical art and gilding knowledge and I enjoy adding metal leaf to finish off my printed images and make them truly bespoke. I also learnt the endangered art of paper marbling last year and I have been combining these marbled papers with my photography.
As I continued to attend more photographic workshops my confidence grew and decided to try selling my work. I had success in a local gallery in Hexham, then at an exhibition at the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle and at a gallery near Edinburgh in 2019. In 2020 and 2021 I had to be more reliant on online sales via Instagram and my website but in 2022 I was back to being able to exhibit and also selling through interior designers.
What influences your work?
My biggest single influence is nature. I guess it’s universal and for ever changing. I love the seasonal changes within an overall landscape but I am often particularly interested in details and close ups. Trees, leaves and flowers fascinate me and I am lucky to have a cutting garden at my home in Northumberland where I grow all sorts of flowers to bring into the house. From March until the first frosts, my vases are full; tulips, sweet peas, anemones.
I love to observe veins in leaves and frost patterns from the ice particles on our greenhouse windows. However, I don’t always make images of exactly what I am seeing. I do enjoy the freedom of playing around with the colours, I take multiple exposures and develop ideas further through blending during post processing.
The other ongoing fascination I have is with Venice, ever since I first visited the city aged 12. I studied Venetian art at university but I also love the works by the contemporary artist Victoria Crowe who spent many years working from her studio in Venice. I will never tire of the city’s wide array of textures and reflections. I like to combine the complex surfaces unique to this city and use them in unexpected ways. For example, marble seen on a church column might then be re-worked to create the sky in one of my Venetian cityscapes (such is the example on the cover image). Anything a little quirky and different appeals to me!
It is fair to say that travel influences my work too and of course any exhibition or museum visits. My upcoming solo exhibition in May will feature several of my floral works and some will show a distinct nod to Gaudi, (last year I went to Barcelona and I was bowled over by all his wonderful mosaics.) I do also look back to other art movements, for example the Dutch 17c Still life artists, the Impressionists, Turner and the “paper mosaics” from Mary Delany.
There are a few photographers who I have really enjoyed learning from and continue to learn from. Doug Chinnery and Valda Bailey from @baileychinnery, they are both immensely talented expressionist photographers/artists/teachers who never stop encouraging and sharing their knowledge. Joe Cornish – the incredible landscape photographer who creates such beauty, @markbanksphotography – another super talented landscape photographer and @suebishopphotos who introduced me to macro photography.
How would you describe your signature style and technique?
I am not sure if I have a signature style or technique as I am constantly evolving and learning. However, my love of colour and pattern, possibly as a result of working as an interior designer for many years, is a constant thread running through my art. I am sensitive to colour and love experimenting with colour combinations and gradations.
Are there any exhibitions or events you are planning?
I’m having a Solo Show on May 14, 2023- 22 June 2023 at The Beauport Art Gallery within the Bannatyne Spa Hotel in Hastings. This is organised by Pure Arts Group. I will be the artist in residence there for 2 or 3 days and will give a talk about my work and how I create it. Also, I will be showing in the Spring 2023 at The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle upon Tyne.
What is the best advice you received as an artist?
Lesley from @pureartsgroup always says “Practise your craft every day”. I honestly do think that I am either out with my camera making images or inside doing post-processing virtually every day.
For more information about Juliette Scott’s art please visit juliettescottphotography.com
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