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

  • Jørgen Leth & Alex Da Corte

    The Perfect Monster

    Watch the celebrated Danish poet and film director, Jørgen Leth (b. 1937), and a sparkling star on the art scene, Alex Da Corte (b. 1980), talk about the latter’s shot-for-shot remake of – and homage to – Leth’s iconic film ‘The Perfect Human’.

  • Riad Sattouf

    Advice to Young Cartoonists

    Watch the acclaimed cartoonist Riad Sattouf draw while sharing his advice for colleagues: “Be careful with advice, it’s not always good. Find your own way of expressing yourself, everything is acceptable, there’s no one good way to draw or not draw.”

  • Jean-Marc Bustamante

    The Notion of Landscape

    “I think art is not very useful, it’s a question of what you feel.” Watch the acclaimed French artist and photographer Jean-Marc Bustamante, who merges photography and painting, and whose starting point is always the concept of landscape.

  • John Giorno

    A Visit to the Poet

    “Poetry never dies. You can’t kill poetry.” We called on John Giorno – one of the most influential figures in contemporary performance poetry – in his legendary home on the Bowery in New York, to talk about the innate freedom and possibilities of poetry.

  • John Giorno

    Inside William Burroughs' Bunker

    Step inside ‘The Bunker’ in New York, the windowless former apartment of legendary writer William S. Burroughs, and let yourself be guided around – from Burroughs’ typewriter to his shooting target – by its current resident, iconic poet John Giorno.

  • Colson Whitehead

    I Have to Know the Destination

    “I became a writer once I realised no one liked my stuff.” Watch Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey’s favourite author, Pulitzer Prize-winning Colson Whitehead, on how rejections of his first stab at a novel made him realize that he wanted to pursue writing.

  • Marina Abramović & Ulay

    A Living Door of the Museum

    Standing naked in the main entrance of a museum, facing each other while the audience passes sideways through the small space. Legendary performance artists Marina Abramović and Ulay share the story behind their poetic work ‘Imponderabilia’.

  • 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.

  • 11 Artists

    First Encounter with Art

    “That was the beginning of my film and photography career – my first image ended up under the Russian soldier’s boot.” Watch Jonas Mekas, Laurie Anderson, Paul Auster, Gerhard Richter and 7 other acclaimed artists on how they began their career.