Textile Art - Winner 2010
Born and educated in North London, Julie Cook worked as a nurse for more than 20 years before deciding to take a career break to pursue an artistic direction. She discovered that her creative life and nursing background were inextricably linked, that each one feeds the other.
Cook experiments with fabrics rich in their own memory such as cotton sheets, duck down duvet, wool, household linens and winceyette blankets. Her work has a sense of the medical, to comfort and protect the body from physical and emotional ills through enigmatic therapeutic solutions. She combines found materials with stitch to create collections of wearable pieces to sooth the body.
Cook created her series of eight garments, Therapeutic Appliances For The Injured, in 2002. The pieces restrict parts of the body, using sealed sleeves and tapes. Titles of the garments, including; Agoraphobia, Obsessive Compulsive and Melancholia reflect her former vocation. The original intention of bandages and appliances was curative, but they may also feel ‘cruel to be kind’. This series offers remedies for today’s maladies.
In one of her most recent collections, Duende A Time for Healing, Cook worked collaboratively with a counselling Psychologist to explore the collective trauma and pain revealed through song, dance and music of the Andalusian Flamenco.