Give me an ocean to scavenge along and I will joyfully create a world of whimsy!
Julia M. Doughty has always been impassioned by the sea and in its proximity she feels alive and creatively complete. Julia grew up in Nova Scotia, where she first started collecting scrap as a youth on the Halifax waterfront. While in Nova Scotia, she earned her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She is currently living in Freeport, soon to reach 13 years of residency in this bustling little coastal town. Before setting down her roots here in Maine, she studied costume design and history at the California College of Arts, and also graphic design at Moore College of Art in Philadelphia. Julia’s journey in textile, graphic, and costume design has led her to the joyful discovery of found-object sculpture.
“I am a scavenger and an iron hound. Since I was a child, rusty iron remnants discarded by past lives have lured me. Old beds and cars and other rotting, wonderful iron carcasses call out to me. They are rich in history and speak of, perhaps, a simpler way of life,” said Julia. She is drawn to the elements of iron (the rustier the better), copper, stone, and wood, and strives to bring balance to them all in her sculptures. What she loves about these elements is the way that nature reclaims them over time. “The only constant is change. I continue their metamorphosis by imagining, creating, and elaborating on new lives for these forgotten objects,” said Julia.
As a naturalist at heart, Julia never uses glue in her works. All of her sculptures are held together by wire, no matter the size. In this way, she can transform the objects into something new, while maintaining and appreciating their history and natural journey. Julia said of her sculptures, “Each one I create is a little different from the last. They continue to evolve alongside the artist in me. I am most passionate about my seahorse and lobster series. It amuses me that the lobster is also a scavenger.”
Every aspect of Julia’s creative process, from scavenging in the woods and along the coastline, to hours spent in her studio, brings her profound peace. And it’s here in Maine that provides the playground for Julia’s inspiration. She finds most of her material for her work along the seashores of Maine. “Give me an ocean to scavenge along and I will joyfully create a world of whimsy!” said Julia.
Julia’s sculptures are on display around Maine, Massachusetts, and Nova Scotia. She has a special display of marine-themed, found-object sculptures with a focus on the creatures of the sea for sale in our Rockport shop and online.