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What’s Bugging Julie Alice Chappell?

Portsmouth based artist, Julie Alice Chappell is causing a real buzz with her insect art. Aggrieved at the wasteful society we currently inhabit, Julie takes discarded electronic components and skilfully creates her insect artworks.

As well as being fascinating to look at, Julie explained her bugs are making a statement about waste and our planet’s precious resources.

Julie Chappell art“As a painter, photographer and sculptor, my multi­disciplinary practice transforms found objects into something new and seemingly organic.

“My current work, ‘Computer Component Bugs’ incorporates the printed ephemera from inside computers and gadgets which I find discarded in my local area, on the streets or ‘fly­tipped’ on wasteland.

“The recycled bits of cultural refuse that are woven throughout my work represent a direct encounter with the excesses of modern living highlighting the dangers of e­waste in the environment,” she explained.

Julie first came to Portsmouth to study art and has now made the creative island city her home. And she’s keen to share what she finds so special about the city.

“I think creative people are drawn to Portsmouth because of its heritage and there’s been an art college here for several decades. After years of study at art college/university, creative people grow warm to the city and decide to stay. Well, that’s how it happened for me.

“I moved to Portsmouth to study on the Art Foundation course at the Portsmouth Art College back when I was eighteen years old.

“I stayed in Portsmouth and my children grew up here. In more recently years I attended Portsmouth University for four years, full time, studying Contemporary Fine Art BA (Hons) as a mature student but I consider myself to be a ‘self taught’ artist,” she said.

Up­cycling, re­using found objects, plays a major part in her work and Julie explained how she began on this journey.

julie chappell artist“The first up­cycled conceptual/contemporary piece I created was a called ‘Chaffinch’, which was created from found glass, wire and lead. A tiny Victorian hand made bird was used, combining the old with the new.

“The use of old electronic components in my work was first inspired when I found a box full of electronic bits and pieces at The Beneficial Foundation in Portsmouth (Craft bank) and my thoughts turned to the worrying trend of ‘planned obsolescence.

“ I wanted to find a way to re­use them in ‘found art’ and whilst contemplating them I realised they actually looked like bugs with all their colourful and metallic bodies and wire legs and antennae. This is where the Computer Bugs began,” said Julie.

Recommendations for visitors to experience the best of Southsea:

“The sea front, especially in the warmer months, there’s always something going on. My favourite place is the butterfly house at the natural history museum in early Summer when all the butterflies start to emerge.

“The Palmerston Road area is a favourite for chatting with arty friends over coffee and cake with numerous cafes and restaurants. As a vegan, my favourite café is the Southsea Coffee Company, with its wide range of vegan cakes and treats and selection of vegan coffees.

“Soprano’s Italian restaurant is rather special too with many vegetarian options. I love visiting the Café Parisian with its veggie options and which also has regular art exhibitions. The Albert Road area is brimming over with creativity, art shop/galleries, art cafes and the Kings Theatre with its art exhibition space,” she said.

Julie regularly exhibits at group shows and art fairs in Portsmouth and details can be found on her Facebook art page.

Her work is permanently displayed for purchase in Island Pictures, 183 Eastney Rd, Portsmouth, PO4 8EA.

Contact details

FaceBook art page: Julie Alice Chappell Artist

WordPress Blog:

Email address: [email protected]