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Jools Blands  Melbourne, Australia

* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

About Jools

Although I live in the country, I remain passionate about the city. I think that the city screams at you, not so much by the typical noise of traffic and people, but it screams at you visually, through signs, advertisement, logo’s, text, graffiti, window displays, neon lights and other images designed to attract our attention. Traveling the world I always bring my camera with me to capture the ‘noise’ visually. I then use these images to create artistic statements about urban life and what it evokes in me.

Today, I find myself influenced and enamored by Pop Art, in particular artists such as Richard Hamilton, Robert Rauschenberg and Richard Prince. I visited New York twice in 2007 simply to absorb the atmosphere, walking the streets day and night taking photographs and filming. My camera is constantly trained at what is often overlooked by others: the wonderful graffiti that graces the rough brick walls around the back streets of the Meatpacking district, the street market stalls in Chinatown and Little Italy, the peeling posters and the water towers atop buildings in Tribeca and the many construction sites that reflect the ever changing cityscape.

In places like New York, or any urban metropolis really, you are constantly bombarded by noise and information. It is possible to be advertised at, sold to, harassed, propositioned, detained, honked at, lectured, policed or abused on every street corner, every day. For a person who adores the wide open spaces of the country, I find it a little baffling that I am so passionate about cities, New York in particular. The truth is, I find the noise of the city soothing and comforting, even road works that continue all through the night. When I am standing on a busy street corner watching a police car muscle its way through traffic, lights flashing and siren blazing, I feel completely happy. I can’t explain it.

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10 of 11 reactions displayed

"I feel like you could do more"

"I love Rauschenburg but I see no influence from him in this work. perhaps im dense."

"Tres, tres Rauschenberg. I look forward to seeing what you do in your next phase."

"woah!!! dude these r freekin AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!! do some more! man u rock on drawing i am a young artist u just inspired me 2 do more freaky/cool stuf!!!!!!!!!!!! Again, u r freakin AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!"

"Jools, reading what you had to say about the city sent a thrill through me - I am an artist who has spent most of her life in the country, but recently attended school in an urban environment, and I often find myself drawn to both surroundings, but for vastly different reasons. I find myself inspired in a different way by and in the city, and it was so exciting to read about how you go into a city to draw out inspiration and art. There is a quotation by Georgia O'Keeffe that I have found particularly relevant to this feeling: "When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not." -Georgia O'KeeffeI think that the flower can represent the simple, beautiful, often overlooked details in the city as well. Thank you for sharing your work with us and for providing such a beautiful representation of how you perceive the urban world!"

"these are pretty cool..."

"I love your work. It does remind me of Rauschenberg, whom I love. It can also look like (as mentioned by mattgreermusic) album art from the 80's - but that's not necessarily bad in my opinion. I like the pop art from that era - it's a fun style to work in and endless as far as ideas go. I saw a great retrospective of Rauschenberg here in Houston a number of years ago and while i loved the screen print/collage style i was blown away by some of the more 3-dimensional pieces that had metallic screens on plexiglass over other prints and objects, etc. It showed me how versatile mixed medium and collage could be."

"Nice mixed media pieces. I also really enjoyed reading what the artist wrote about her work and thoughts about the city."

"I love mixed media! These are beautiful and thought provoking, they remind me a a dream. . .how things seem to flow together, but never really connecting. The first one has a sense of urgency about it; it almost makes me scarred. The second is stunning, especially the b&w photo in the middle; I can't be sure of the actress, but her eyes are captivating, it really pulls the whole thing together."

"Eye-inspiring and awe-inspiring, this artist has the incredible ability to describe her art visually and in writing. Now, when I walk home from work today in Boston, MA I'll do it without my iPod so I can listen to the wonderful sounds and in my mind, paint that visual picture.:) Thank you Jools Blands!"

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