Balancing Act: Julie Cockburn's rainbow-coloured works merge embroidered art with vintage photos

Julie Cockburn Jester 1, 2020 © Julie Cockburn Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery

At first glance, Julie Cockburn's repurposed vintage photographs might seem like they have random scrawls and flippant slaps of colour, but they are instead painstakingly stitched together in a joyful, vibrant explosion of collage and embroidery art.

The acclaimed British artist is renowned for re-imagining found objects and old imagery into unique contemporary, abstract artworks and her latest series, Balancing Act, takes on her usual playful and abstract tone – rich in landscape, domesticity, and the human form.

Created during lockdown, the pieces are based on large black and white photographs of wilderness, alongside smaller, homespun album photos, with abstract shapes bouncing in to disrupt the otherwise tranquil scenes. "I live on my own and work from home, so little overtly changed in the logistics of my day-to-day life," Julie tells us.

"Like everyone, I carefully negotiated my way through the news bulletins and supermarket aisles, cautious not to become overwhelmed with the enormity of the pandemic. While in isolation, I noticed how much we connected by sharing our creativity on social media in an act of showing and being seen – our bread, our gardens, our dances, our cardboard animated projects. This is my show and tell."

You can view her latest works from Balancing Act at The Photographers' Gallery in London from 9 September until 25 October 2020. Find out more: juliecockburn.com.

Julie Cockburn Beach Party, 2020 © Julie Cockburn Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery

Julie Cockburn Beach Party, 2020 © Julie Cockburn Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery

Julie Cockburn Ta Da 4, 2020 © Julie Cockburn Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery

Julie Cockburn Ta Da 4, 2020 © Julie Cockburn Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery

Julie Cockburn Valley Melody, 2020 © Julie Cockburn Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery

Julie Cockburn Valley Melody, 2020 © Julie Cockburn Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery

Julie Cockburn Blue Moons, 2020 © Julie Cockburn Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery

Julie Cockburn Blue Moons, 2020 © Julie Cockburn Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery

Julie Cockburn Clearing 1, 2020 © Julie Cockburn Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery

Julie Cockburn Clearing 1, 2020 © Julie Cockburn Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery