You'd be hard pressed to find a true haberdasher today. That kind of
Aladdin's cave of shop - jam packed with myriad of ephemera that
children find so appealing - just doesn' t exist anymore.... If you lose
a button today you are more likely to discard the cardigan than invest
the time, patience and energy required to find a perfect match. Yet it
is precisely this investment of care, attention and affection, so
evident in Julie' s work, which strikes a chord and gives meaning to her
universe. The sad undercurrent that ripples through her work is a
lament and a reminder that these skills that we now find so charming in a
gallery space were opnce found in every household.
pastel palette Arkell' s work does employ sentiment and nostalgia as
ingredients, but her recipe is spiked with some sharper sentiments. The
work demonstrates an anxious awareness of the passage of time and
displays a kind of nervous dedication to preserving each pretty memory.
Her comfort creatures have an uneasy edge: part human, part animal, and
above all eccentric and very English. Their individual personalities are
imbued with the kind of raw emotion to which only children are
privileged. They display the kind of vulnerability that is disguised
behind sophistication as soon as self-awareness develops.