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Iona Julian-Walters

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Artist Statement

Burial Objects” is a series of 12 interconnecting works. Drawing reference both from ancient burial jewellery and as well as contemporary images of the Covid-19 pandemic this series was an attempt to both grasp at the magnitude of loss during this time as well as find a way to honour the specificity of individual life and death. We are living through a time of great loss, not just the Covid-19 Pandemic which has now claimed millions of lives, but also the climate crisis, multispecies and ecosystem loss. In a time of multiple death, what does it mean to mourn an individual life? Even a life you didn’t know? In the oversaturation of images of death, the loss of an individual life loses meaning – the anonymity of newsreels sheltering us from the vastness of grief. These drawings and objects are made as an act of ritual, a symbolic burial of sorts – recontextualising the anonymous dead in an act of ceremony and in so doing, restoring the preciousness and humanity of their life. Mourning is the only way we can connect to what we have lost and what we have to lose, this project was an attempt to find a new framework for that and in so doing reconnect with the preciousness of life.

Artist Bio

Iona is a queer visual artist living and working in Melbourne. She works primarily in the mediums of drawing, photography, performance and installation. Her work is often concerned with ecology, body, relationship and place and explores themes such as grief, transience liminality and ritual. She is a founding member of the puppet company Golden Scissor Puppets ( and was part of First Site Gallery’s winter residency program in 2020, Out of Site. Her work has been published in magazines such as Voiceworks. She is in her second year at RMIT University in the School of Drawing.


Burial Objects Envelopes Iona JULIAN-WALTERS

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