Julie Smeros: The Brisbane ceramicist inspired by Greek mythology

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Brisbane artist, Julie Smeros, has travelled the world learning different art techniques that she implements into her ceramic work today, but there is not greater inspiration than that of her own Greek heritage.

In an interview with The Greek Herald, Julie details her journey with ceramics and how childhood trips to Greece and visiting local museums influenced her ceramic style.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I graduated from the Sydney College of the Arts, majoring in Photography. I moved to Japan after graduating where I lived and worked for seven years. During this period, I also started Japanese Ink drawing called Sumi-e. These brushwork techniques are evident in my current practice.

Tell us about your journey with ceramics.

Whilst living in Dubai for four years, we would escape the summers to Greece where I had the opportunity to revisit the museums I had been to as a young child.

On returning to Australia, I started to work as a jeweller with a close friend. I enjoyed working with silver and creating three-dimensional objects.

It was during this time I joined Clay School, a small ceramic school in West End, Brisbane. Here I found a very supportive, creative environment which encouraged exploration and experimentation and the space to develop your style.

How has your Greek heritage influenced your work?

We can all look back and pinpoint pivotal moments in our lives. For me, it was my first trip overseas at the age of ten. I remember meeting my grandparents and family for the first time and being awakened to the reality of being a small part of a larger history.

That summer was also spent driving around Greece with my uncle, religiously visiting museums and archaeological sites throughout mainland Greece.

How do you portray the Greek Australian experience through your ceramics?

My main source of visual inspiration to this day are the beautiful illustrations of Greek Mythology on vessels. Working with clay can be very therapeutic. For me it gives me the opportunity to revisit and capture memories which are held in the domestic functional vessels.

What’s next for you?

My studio is in an industrial space called Vacant Assembly in West End, Brisbane. I’m surrounded by many creatives practising a variety of disciplines. This November we will be taking over the Project Space. A pop up for the month of November showcasing the artists in residence.

The weekend of 12 and 13 November we are also participating in the Australian Ceramics Open Studio. If you are interested to see where and how work is made, this is a great opportunity to visit.

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