On a journey with Julie Smeros

 Delicate, airy, and refined.

There's a real resolve present in Julie Smeros' work. The pieces feel at once childlike and sophisticated. Her handling of clay is masterful, resulting in an almost buoyant, paper-thin appearance. Her vessels are reminiscent of the origami paper boats we played with as children, gliding and bobbing down streams, or floating in puddles after the rain had subsided. Unexplored terrain was at the forefront of our mind, imaginations bursting with the possibilities of discovery.

At the tender age of 10, Julie Smeros embarked on an adventure of her own: a 4 month trip with her uncle, visiting museums across Greece. Highly influential, this expedition has served as key inspiration for Julie's practise in the subsequent years. 

Julie Smeros' passport photo, age 10.

 

Interested in the experience of the first generation Greek Australian, Smeros' body of work takes cue from Greek culture, history, architecture, and landscape, and how it interjects with the journey that many Greek people embarked on when emigrating to Australia.

Her pieces incorporate cerulean blues, chalky whites, and earthy ochres. Found everywhere from the national flag, to the famous white-washed houses and their azure rooves of the Aegean Islands, this colour palette is synonymous with Greece. Her forms are lightweight, functional, and precious, a modernized and abstract take on ancient Greek ceramics. Her cups, pictured below, echo the Doric architecture of ancient temples. Evocative of a trip to the Temple of Apollo in Corinth in the height of the Mediterranean summer, their shadows appear column-like in the sunlight.

 

 

With the concept of travel at the core of Markian's inaugural Vieira range, collaborating with Julie was a no-brainer. The Julie Smeros by Markian range features an interpretation of the motif that sees the scallop being morphed and elongated. A playful take with a gradated building of arches makes for visual interest, and the alternating clay and clay glazes make for a subtle but bold take on the Vieira inspiration. 

 

View more of the collection here.

August 19, 2021 — Anyssa Chorvat