HOME: Julie Merriman

In 2015, Julie Merriman embarked upon a series of drawings, entitled Housing Area, which explored the suitability of existing buildings for domestic occupation, in the context of a national housing crisis.

In Housing Area IX, a grid-like series of building facades, with rows of windows in blue, white, and black, resembles an apartment block. The wavering lines, smeared marks, and blurred geometric forms suggest an inherent instability, as if on the verge of collapse. Housing Area X delves even further into abstraction, with multiple cross-hatchings of white lines against a black background inferring the blueprint for an architectural structure. In its network of overlapping and intersecting marks, one can make out parallel tiers of windows and the outline of a roof. 

Merriman employs a mimeograph in the construction of these potential buildings - an imperfect and labour-intensive means of printing that, for her, “provides a space to consider print from a personal dimension” - while additional colours are inserted manually through carbon paper. The drawings stem from an ongoing book project, an alternative means of disseminating, promoting and distributing artwork, and, as such, their tactile, handmade quality presents an alternative to the screen-based, impersonal and accelerated nature of contemporary publishing. Merriman’s works are provisional, speculative, and marked with different possibilities.