• Julia Holderness

Marking her first exhibition with Sanderson after several years of dedicated research Schemes for Vibrant Living with Florence Weir develops from Julia Holderness' recent final PhD exhibition at Auckland University of Technology.

In privileging design, decorative and domestic categories, Holderness’ installation practice traces alternative histories of modernism in Aotearoa, in a reflexive and haptic research process that contributes to a feminist rethinking of the art historical archive. Through the use of invented personae, artworks and exhibitions, Holderness explores questions of truth, representation and temporality in historiography whilst also critiquing traditionally held divides between art historical scholarship and artistic fabrication.

Holderness draws inspiration from local and international influential design archives, as sources for contemporary fabrication and re-presentation. The artist’s research focuses on existing and imagined art histories, conducted through her historical figure and collaborator Florence Weir:

“Combining fictional elements with art historical investigation the project oscillates between representation and production of the past.” – J.Holderness

Schemes for Vibrant Living consists of posters and sets of objects from artist and textile designer Florence Weir's Mediterranean series and an audio work exploring anecdotal and collective memories:

“Florence thought of a new line of textiles for folding screens, scarves and cushion covers, developed from watercolours, that would be simply called ‘Mediterranean’ and she made plans to visit accordingly. She knew that would appeal to Londoners, too; that the series had been created in situ. She stayed with us for two weeks and then another few in the diplomatic villa that artists and writers took over in the summer months.”

“I recall Florence’s enthusiasm for harvesting tomatoes and the pale green zucchini. Her loud laugh and the smell of pine trees in the bay where we swam. The highly successful Mediterranean series was created largely back home in London about a year later, with Florence painting from memory.”

Holderness completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury in 2002, an Honours in Visual Arts at Auckland University of Technology, and will complete a practice led PhD (Visual Arts) at Auckland University of Technology in July this year.

Opening Hours

  • Monday - Friday, 10am - 6pm
  • Saturday - Sunday, 10am - 4pm


  • Osborne Lane, 2 Kent Street
  • Newmarket
  • Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland, 1023