I spoke to locally born Artist Julie Foster Walker this week,Artist is very proud of her Teesside roots ,I spoke to her about her Middlesbrough Art work,what Teesside meant to her ,her message to younger people in our area wanting to start a career in Art,Julie Foster Walker story-
What does Teesside mean to you?
Although I’ve lived on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire for many years, Teesside will always be home to me and I love coming home and being with family and old friends. The people of Teesside are down to earth, friendly with a strong sense of community spirit and I’m really very proud of my Middlesbrough roots.
What made you get into art?
I’ve always enjoyed art and music and although we didn’t have a lot of money when we were growing up, we always had an old piano in the house which I loved. As an adult I dabbled a bit with drawing at home and when my children were older and I had more free time, I went along to a local art group. My first painting was of boats at Paddy’s Hole, Redcar painted in oils with a palette knife and this has continued to be the main medium for my painting. I received positive comments from other artists and encouraged to enter exhibitions winning awards, and selling my work. What made you paint Middlesbrough?
The wonderful Transporter Bridge and Newport Bridge are world class engineering sights. Also old buildings along with the areas beautiful countryside and coastlines makes for endless subject matter for my paintings. I often use an old photograph as a reference point and from that I use my imagination to create a scene to evoke a memory. The Bridges are very popular subjects and in 2015 I donated a painting of the Transporter to the Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, grateful that I could give something back to my home town.
Why do you think Middlesbrough is seen in a bad way by people from the outside and in the media?
It’s perceived in a negative way because the media mainly shows deprived areas and industry, but behind industry are industrious people, friendly people with a strong sense of community spirit. There are lots of green areas and nature reserves in Teesside – Teesmouth, South & North Gares, Headland in Hartlepool, and some of the highest cliffs in England are in Saltburn. There’s also a modern university, museums, and Mima, one of the world leading galleries for modern and contemporary art. Add to this the affordable housing and you then see why most people say they wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
Why do you think its important for more younger people in the area to get into art.
There are many artists and groups in the area plus you have the fabulous MIMA with lots of learning activities and exhibitions.
Being creative and expressing yourself, be it through painting or music etc enables you to develop a sense of self expression and how you feel. There are so many advantages to exploring art, one being looking and focusing on the world around you, this single one thing is fantastic.
You have likely to have seen I have been posting many of Julie Foster Middlesbrough Art on the Project Middlesbrough social Media pages, I like many people who love our area ,think its so refreshing to see a locally born artist focus there art work on their hometown. Highlight some of Middlesbrough best parts through the power art, Julie is for sure a credit to Teesside art scene,is great example for younger Artists in the Teesside thinking of starting a career in art.
If you are wanting to view some of Julie Foster Walker Art work,please take a look at her Facebook page which features much of Middlesbrough Painting plus much more to see. https://www.facebook.com/JulieFosterWalkerArt/
Article By Chloe Tempestoso