Juliette Losq is a ’traditional’ watercolour painter, layering to create photo-realistic images you can be captured by. Losq also produces installations from her paintings, drawing them up like wallpaper: “The Ploutonion.” Which is a design of a rust coloured forest as wallpaper around a Gothic mahogany mantelpiece, it winds around the mouth of the fireplace, and layers in ripped edges at the sides and on the ceiling.
There is a constant possibility of wilderness around the piece, acting as something it isn’t to get closer to you; mere wallpaper encroaching on your living space. It is a small piece of the natural world and all its beauty and danger, with nearby furniture to cement you in proper society; the comfort of your home. “Where wilderness and chaos oppose civilization and order, and where we feel at our most safe yet most vulnerable: stray too close to the edge and the forest may snatch you into its depths.”(Losq, 2012)
Whereas the image “Vinculum”, made in 2012, from watercolour and ink on paper mounted on canvas, actually launches you into its frame, holding in mid jump a forgotten moment. It is a photo-realistic piece of an angled shot looking down from the top of a set of dilapidated stairs, on the edge of a, presumably, abandoned building. An opinion based on the overgrown graffiti and the crawling ivy up the red brick walls, as bin liners sit in crevasses and papered up windows crease with weathering inside iron bars. By positioning the image on the left-hand slant it has, coupled with the height of the image, you are drawn in, “I make large-scale watercolours, including installations, which form immersive or semi-immersive environments into which the viewer may feel they can walk or fall. Through these I aim to challenge the ideas of watercolour as being a medium that, traditionally, holds connotations of portability, is to be used for preparatory sketching, or has associations with domestic scale and use.” (Liverpool Museums, 2014) It appears to have been made to include you in one particular memory; a photograph snapshot of a pretend moment. As a viewer you are to see the image and wonder at its importance.
Losq uses resist, a method of building up layers like an etching plate, in this particular image, obscuring and building up pieces of the image, just like layers of real life objects happen. Through the layers you can see the Victorian ‘Penny Dreadfuls’ images, illustrations and films that the author has mimicked; where the queer and the ordinary work in harmony to create emotional responses of malevolence and curiosity.
I first saw the image within the John Moores Painting Prize Shortlist 2014, It had the artist’s name and the media only in its accompanying text; a freedom to interpret. The Prize is one that “sets out to provide a snapshot of what’s happening in painting now.” according to Losq, which “You can see in these rooms.” (O’Kelly, 2014)
O’Kelly, E. (July 7, 2014) The John Moores Painting Prize offers a snapshot of what’s happening in the Uk art now, Wallpaper, Retrieved from http://www.wallpaper.com/art/the-john-moores-painting-prize-offers-a-snapshot-of-whats-happening-in-uk-art-now/7656
Liverpool Museums, John Moores Shortlist (2014) John Moores Shortlist, Losq, Juliette “Vinculum” Retrieved from http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/johnmoores/jm2014/shortlist/losq.aspx
Losq, J. (2012) Statement, Retrieved from http://www.losq.co.uk/index.htm
Losq, J. (2012) “Plutonion” [Scanned Image] Retrieved from http://www.losq.co.uk/page2.htm