I am an artist, academic, butoh dancer, Quaker and grandmother currently based in Oxford, England. I spent seventeen formative years living in Paris from 1982-1999 where I studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts.
Solo and group exhibitions
- Galerie Bernanos, Paris 1989
- Galerie Etienne de Causans, Paris 1990
- Le Feste Fou, Paris 1991
- Chapelle de l’Eglise Saint Jacques, Paris 1993
- Two Stuckist shows with Billy Childish, Rivington Gallery, Shoreditch 2002
- Milestones, Women’s Centre, Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford 2003
- The Lovely Artifice of Landscape, Maison Française, Oxford 2004
- Jill George Gallery, London, 2005
- Every Woman Biennial, Copeland Gallery Peckham July 2021
- Mythos Collective Exhibition, D-UNIT, Bristol 25 April – 1 May 2022
- Girlhood, Memory and the Gaze, 5 May – 2 June 2022, Windows Gallery, Fusion Arts Oxford (Solo show)
- Park People, St Mary and St Nicholas Church, Oxford 2 January – 20 January 2023 (Solo Show)
Juliet Henderson; Girlhood, memory and the gaze
By Elspeth Mitchell
These paintings explore the intimate connection between girlhood, memory and the gaze.
They represent younger or older girl figures that transform memory into painting and celebrate moments and memories that are joyful, mundane and difficult. A girl reclines on a light blue sun lounger, her arm lightly obscuring her bikini shorts. Caught in a sexualising gaze, the sunbathing girl looks back, catching our eye from a distance. Caught in a more intimate gaze, the young woman eating smarties alone beneath a standard lamp stares back at the viewer as if affirming their right to eat what they want. The fluidity of memory, relationships and experience becomes fixed in the frozen moment of observation captured in the paintings.
Many of the paintings also activate the tension between the sexualising or intruding look that freezes the subject in the image and the agency of the girl who meets our gaze. They explore the interaction of memory and the gaze as a particular dimension of feminine experience. The paintings are not, however, about nostalgia. Non-chronological moments resist the conflation of memory and nostalgia and become an on-going interrogation of who Henderson (the girl, the mother, the sister, the daughter and the artist) is.
In representing girlhood, memory and the gaze the display also makes a broader statement on what memory means today and how we recall memory in everyday lives and practices. For Henderson, the act of painting is a journey from blank white canvas and an initial idea to final image. Memories of bright patterns on a dress, or a particular piece of furniture are joined together as layer by layer, painting produces memory in a form that is not known until the painting is finished. Painting is presented as a way of entering and re-entering ‘girlhood/womanhood/the feminine’ as a never-ending source of memories. The girl is the agent of memory. These paintings invite the viewer to connect with their own memory, and/or the feeling of looking or being looked at, and the forms in which these touch upon the present.
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