In her work, Julieanne Kost combines a passion for photography, a mastery of digital imaging techniques and knowledge gained from a degree in psychology, in order to construct a world similar enough to appear familiar, yet obviously an interpretation of the physical reality that surrounds us.
Although the images are highly personal representations of her dreams and personal reality, they are abstract enough to allow individual interpretation (based on each individual’s history and life experiences). Julieanne hopes to engage the viewer with the image to allow them to leave the reality that they hold true and explore, even if only for an instant, and venture into the visual placeholder of her thoughts and dreams.
Over the past 20 years Julieanne has created libraries of individual elements ranging from photographs of textures and landscapes, to scans of found objects, to encaustic paintings and charcoal drawings. Although these ingredients are not an end in and of themselves, they are waiting to take their position as a component of a larger message. The common thread is that each individual element must evoke an emotional response. What that response might be (positive or negative, comforting or confrontational) is not important at the creation stage, because how the image will be used at that point is not clear. Julieanne draws from these libraries to build images and communicate her message.
Because the components are created at different times in different locations, Julieanne finds that her work falls somewhere between the more traditional photographic practice of capturing a single decisive moment and the time compression techniques used to tell a story in cinematography. In her images, she creates imaginary scenes layering elements together that are unconstrained by linear time and physical location. By choosing elements that work together to form a cohesive message, she is able to create a composite image more powerful than its individual parts.
The interactive process of selecting and assembling images is one of the most challenging and thought provoking parts of Julieanne’s creative exploration. Although overall, the images may appear serene and calm, the act of creation is anything but passive. She begins with a concept in mind, yet she may not know exactly how the pieces will fit together at the end. As the image takes on its own life, she often allows herself to explore additional directions, sometimes finding that the final image only faintly resembles the one first imagined.
From a technical standpoint, Julieanne feels that a computer is not merely a shortcut for what is possible with a camera, but instead it allows her to discover what is possible in no other medium. However, with the digital realm being so forgiving and offering so many options for exploration, that discipline becomes part of the challenge. The paint is never dry, the exposure is never fixed, and the print is never final — all components can be done differently at any point. Here the art form is knowing when to stop and realizing when you’ve said what you set out to say.