"Julie’s parents were part of the Jewish diaspora that fled Nazi Germany to settle in Britain. That almost genetic instinct for survival so often built on the unspoken memory, the unfilled desires are never far from Julie’s poetic work. The German word Sehnsucht literally translates as 'Longing', or 'Desire', and seems to be the very essence that drives her brushes to tell her pictorial stories with poignant depth and colour.


"Julie’s own survival is so connected to her lifetime of painting. When others were watching the 1966 World Cup, Julie was lying on the landing of her family home, drawing her first self-portrait with her first box of coloured wax crayons. It was that moment she recalls knowing that being a painter is all she ever wanted to be. It was eight years later accompanying her much loved parents to an Edvard Munch show at The Hayward Gallery that Julie began to fully realise that paintings could convey feelings more powerfully than words, with a drama that great music aspires to. These then rarely seen works communicated with a forceful voice tearing at Julie's own teenage feelings about her mother who was tragically disappearing into illness. Munch’s works with their series of interlocking shapes and colours spoke to his philosophy 'I do not paint what I see but what I saw. 


"Drawing is central to her practise. Drawing directly from observation both for its own sake and in order to collect information for paintings and then drawing from memories too: 'Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye… it also includes the inner picture of the soul' (Munch).


"Julie's profound happiness in painting is so very alive in this small colour bursting collection of her work. It is her artist's understanding of her role as the ever present outsider looking in, finding the entry points through many different interlocking layers, in order to reveal the whole picture. These pictures read like poems scan. I am reminded of the accentual metre of T.S. Elliot’s The Waste Land 'Memory and desire, stirring / Dull roots with spring rain. / Winter kept us warm, covering / Earth in forgetful snow, feeding / A little life with dried tubers.'


"'Gardens, trees, plants,' says Julie, 'embody and reflect elements that mirror ourselves as human beings: roots, mythologies, diversity, mutability, and connections. Thus presenting endless possibilities to examine and capture in their representation.'


"Julie draws her inspiration from Titian, Rembrandt, Bonnard, Matisse and, of course, Munch. A colourist, an expressionist, a symbolist, all of those for sure; but most of all a 'Julie Heldist' which she might describe as 'beauty, magic, sehnsucht', and one of her favourites words, 'stuff'."


- Nick Crean

January 2021