Julie Nord

Julie Nord

The Power of Drawing

“It’s the closest you get to silence – or skin. There’s so little between me as an artist and my material.” Artist Julie Nord here shares her attraction to the "no bullshit" of drawing. Visit her studio and take a peek at how she makes her surreal, fairy tale-like drawings.

When she and her mother moved from Copenhagen to Jutland (in the western part of Denmark), Nord was confronted with an abrupt sense of estrangement in a place where she struggled to fit in: “And if you adapt a lot, you acquire a great secret of all the things that can’t adapt. That came out on paper or stayed in the space I had with my parakeets and luckily, also with a few friends, who in their ways were also outsiders.” This experience of how reality could change abruptly sparked Nord’s interest in what she refers to as “the ice floes of reality” and that moment right before the soap bubble bursts – much like the use of suspense in horror movies.

The figure of a big-eyed girl has become a common thread through Nord’s works. The girl started out as a kind of ‘Alice in Wonderland’-character in a series of drawings that explored ‘Wonderland’, where reality and fantasy merge and become inseparable. Nord feels that she has never let go of this “childlike” approach to the world, and that the girl in this sense has become a sort of alter ego: “The child remains inside of you. You don’t outgrow it.”

“Usually we recognize faces first. It’s the first shape the brain finds in an abstract pattern.” Nord is equally interested in the patterns that surround the distinctive faces. She feels that patterns have an almost calming effect due to their inbuilt repetition and furthermore function like an additional track that sets the mood: “They’re in the background but emit almost a smell to the work.”

Julie Nord (b. 1970) is a Danish visual artist, who lives and works in Copenhagen. Nord has had solo exhibitions at venues such as ARoS and Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, Nordic Watercolour Museum in Sweden, and Turku Art Museum in Finland. For more see: http://www.julienord.dk/

Julie Nord was interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg at her studio in Copenhagen, Denmark in June 2017 in connection with her exhibition at Trapholt Museum of Modern Art and Design in Kolding, Denmark.

All photos by Anders Berg and Lea Nielsen. Installation photos by Nils Rosenvold.

Works shown in this video:

Living Hill, 2006
The Roommates, 2007
The Chopper Inside, 2007
Illustration for a Lost Tale, 2005
Afternoon at the Fringe, 2005
The Bad Girl, 2006
Impending Doom, 2005
The Innocents, 2006
The Confirmand, 2012
Red Room, installation
Red Room, installation (3 Dolls Carriage)
3 Dolls Carriage, 2009
Red Room, installation (FEVER)
FEVER, 2010
Grey Area, installation
The Sleep (Grey Area), 2016
The Empress (Grey Area), 2016
Such a Big Girl, 2008
Work in progress, 2017

Camera: Klaus Elmer
Edited and produced by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2017

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Yona Friedman

    Architecture of Trial and Error

    “Don't forget that very important cities today started by immigration.” Meet the 94-year-old architect behind 'L’Architecture Mobile', Yona Friedman. He here shares the story of how his years as a refugee sparked his desire to make architecture adaptable.

  • Nástio Mosquito

    'Mama Africa' is a Construct

    In this short interview Angolan artist Nástio Mosquito discusses his provocative video work, in which he through three blazing speeches addresses the legacy of the western logic of ownership and debt, not least regarding a construct like ‘Africa’.

  • Nástio Mosquito

    What are You Willing to Die for?

    Angolan artist Nástio Mosquito has been dubbed “the future star of the art world.” He here talks about his invigorating multidisciplinary practice, which investigates universally human characteristics in a teasing, polemic and humorous way.

  • Bill Viola

    Cameras are Soul Keepers

    When video artist Bill Viola was 6 years old he fell into a lake, all the way to the bottom, to a place which seemed like paradise. "There's more than just the surface of life." Viola explains. "The real things are under the surface".

  • 11 Artists

    on Photography

    “We are so oversaturated with images, so it’s about one question: Can I hold you - can I get you to look at an image for longer than a second?” Watch Catherine Opie, Wim Wenders, Jeff Wall and 8 other artists on the power and potential of photography.

  • The Story of Marina Abramović & Ulay

    Legendary couple in performance art – Marina Abramović and Ulay – lived together for 12 years and made pioneering work as a duo. In this extraordinary double interview the artists look back on their relationship – from their first meeting in 1975 until now.

  • Wang Shu

    Architecture is a Job for God

    The Chinese architect Wang Shu’s buildings – a crossover between traditional Chinese culture and large-scale modern architecture – have earned him prestigious awards. “Democracy means a really diverse society,” says the architect in this inspiring interview.

  • Margrethe Odgaard

    Colour Diary of New York

    Becoming more aware of your surroundings can “open a new dimension inside as well as outside yourself.” Meet award-winning Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard who has trained herself to register the world through colours.

  • Nick Cave

    The World is my Skin

    Have you ever wished that you could put on a suit which would open up the imagination and take you to the world of your dreams? In this video artist Nick Cave presents his wearable sculptures, the 'Soundsuits', made from discarded everyday materials.

  • Gerhard Richter

    In Art We Find Beauty and Comfort

    “I don’t really believe art has power. But it does have value. Those who take an interest in it find solace in art. It gives them huge comfort.” Gerhard Richter, one of the greatest painters of our time, discusses beauty in the era of the internet.

  • Daniel Libeskind

    Tribute to New York

    “If you took the whole world and collapsed it into one little ball, you’d find it here, in this city.” Daniel Libeskind, world-renowned architect behind the new World Trade Center site, gives tribute to his city in this short and colourful video.

  • Marina Abramović

    Electricity Passing Through

    For more than 50 years trailblazing performance artist Marina Abramović has used her own body and energy as her main artistic material. In this powerful interview, the artist looks back on her radical practice: “It was like the first woman walking on the moon.”