Inspired by the unique colours, textures, and light of the Australian landscape, Julz Beresford creates paintings that skilfully capture the complexity and mood of her surroundings. After completing a degree in fine art from Sydney college of Fine Art in 1994, Beresford returned to painting full time only four years ago with the intention of honing her technical and conceptual understanding of the landscape. What she has created is a suite of deeply evocative and dynamic landscapes that document the artists journey across the Australian landscape.
To understand the energy and composition of her surroundings more accurately, Beresford paints en plein air, allowing the natural rhythms of the land to guide her brushstrokes. Not intimated by nature, Beresford often works on the water, floating peacefully down the Hawkesbury River as she absorbs her surroundings, organically recording the colours, forms, and shadows of the landscape around her. Beresford has observed how the water changes every time she works and is influenced by the unpredictable and everchanging nature of weather. Whether it is the moment of calm before a storm, or a sun filled spring morning, Beresford embraces the different lights, colours and mood that exist within a single landscape, capturing the multiplicity of the Australian landscape. It is these observations the land that drives Beresford’s practice, imbuing her paintings with a vitality and energy that mimic the unpredictability of the natural environment.
Beresford’s technical process is influenced by the vicissitudes of landscape; “the bush is pure texture,” remarks the artist, with many of her paintings utilising a variety of different brushstrokes, tools, and layers. In fact, Beresford often adjusts her tools depending on the terrain she is depicting; “sometimes I find that the landscape needs a brush, and sometimes I think it needs a pallet knife.” Through her mark making, Beresford responds intuitively to the landscape, emulating the dimension and vitality of the bush.
There is a profound element of truth that permeates Beresford’s landscapes; the artist does not attempt to depict the environment as something fictional, instead allowing the landscape to tell its own story. It is through this pursuit of physical and emotional authenticity that Beresford’s technical finesse shines through, carving out vivid scenes with skilful impasto brushstrokes. Much like the Heidelberg impressionists who inspired her, Beresford is truly present within the landscape, committed to depicting an authentic impression of the Australian landscape.