University Of Tasmania

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Julie Gough: the art and culture of collecting

posted on 2023-05-24, 05:44 authored by Brigita OzolinsBrigita Ozolins

Shells, cuttlefish bones, rope, coal, lengths of tea-tree, clothing, tools, book pages, chairs, tables, beds, carpets, antlers, cutlery, crockery, paper, shoes, curtains, maps, documents, bricks, wallpaper, wool, fabric, seaweed.

These are just some of the materials that Julie Gough uses in the creation of her artwork. An obsessive collector, sorter and investigator, she has a clear and unwavering sense of determination about the objects, information or artefacts she needs to find for each project she tackles. She will travel long distances by car, air, canoe, ferry or on foot to find a particular type of shell or plant, or to take photographs that will form the basis of an artwork. In her search she will camp on remote beaches, sleeping in a tent beneath the stars and cooking over a small fire. She will spend hours in libraries and state archives, trawling through documents and microfilm in search of clues about her Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage. She will transcribe historical records by hand over a period of weeks - word by word, page by page - until every piece of evidence has been absorbed through the re-recording process. She will fall asleep at 3 am, sitting upright over an artwork that demands to be finished. Gough is a driven artist - and she also has the fearless curiosity of a detective and the dedicated patience of an archivist.


Publication title

Fugitive history: the art of Julie Gough


Julie Gough






School of Creative Arts and Media


UWA Publishing

Place of publication




Rights statement

Copyright 2018 Julie Gough

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

The creative arts

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