BEEing Artist Biographies

Dr. Julie Bartholomew completed a PhD in 2006, Master of Visual Arts in 1999 and previously, a Bachelor in Visual Arts from the University of Sydney. Julie has exhibited both nationally and internationally in Japan, Taiwan, China, Korea, USA and New Zealand. Julie was winner of the International Gold Coast Ceramics Award in 2006 and has been the recipient of five Australia Council for the Arts Grants, plus the Tokyo Studio Residency, the Australia-China Council Red Gate Residency in Beijing and the Asialink Taiwan Residency. Her work is in many collections including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Museum of Australia, the Shepparton Art Museum, Victoria, the Shanghai Arts and Crafts Museum, China, the WOCEK International Ceramics Collection, Korea and The Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taiwan.

Mahala Hill is a contemporary ceramic artist based in regional NSW, striving to push both the limits and the pre-conceived notions of her medium. Hill’s practice is discursive in nature, material exploration leads to ideas, extends her conceptual intent and brings to the foreground further questions or conundrums for exploration. Recently Mahala has been exploring curiosity, wonder, beauty, death, the apocalypse and how by using these motifs she can raise awareness of pressing environmental issues.

Hill’s practice has been centred around the process of the ‘burn out’. A ‘burn out’ is the remnant shell-like form that emerges from inside a layer of liquid clay after the combustible organic plant material has incinerated. The residual matter is a ghostly, shell-like phantom form or ‘burnt out’ spectre, simultaneously evoking traces of a life and a loss. This process of directly creating a brittle clay form from transformed organic matter is a crucial element underpinning Hill’s exploration of what has happened and what is currently happening to the environment.

Mahala has exhibited widely within Australia in both group and solo settings. Her work is held in several public collections including City of Townsville Art Collection, Macquarie Group Collection, The ACT Legislative Assembly Art Collection and private collections within Australia and Singapore. In 2020 Mahala was awarded City of Townsville Art Collection Award and the Macquarie Group Emerging Artist Prize.

Image 1: Dr. Julie Bartholomew, Prototype for Habitat 3, 2022. Photo: Ashley Mackevicius
Image 2: Mahala Hill, Mutated Hive II, 2022. Photo: Courtesy of Artist.