Ms Julie Shiels


Casual Academic

School /
Work Unit


Contact Details

No Phone


City campus


College of Design and Social Context

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Key activities

Julie teaches in the Art and Public Spaces post-graduate program at RMIT.

Julie Shiels makes work for the gallery, public space including the web. Her practice includes installation and photography but she also stencils abandoned furniture in the street with quotes, truisms and stories. She is interested in exploring the way discarded objects can be reworked to capture narratives of contemporary life. Julie’s work re-values the abandoned or the overlooked to suggest a future archaeology a way of preserving the remnants of mass production in a post-industrial society. Julie was a founding member of Another Planet Posters in the early 80s - the starting point for her ongoing interest in street art.


B.Ed 1986; MA 2006

Professional links to industry

NAVA Board of Management


Julie’s research project All that Remains is based on her interests in the way contemporary material culture can be reworked to manifest a future archaeology - a way of pondering the present while imagining the future. She is also interested in exploring the way stories and the memories can reside in objects and how the viewer can become an author of these narratives. Her installations in galleries and interventions in public space contribute to a dialogue about technology and the ingenuity and beauty of contemporary industrial design while critiquing built-in obsolescence and mass consumption.

Current project: Cusp: technology, the body and memory.

When a person undergoes a surgical procedure the operation is booked, the risks are assessed and the date anticipated. On the day, the body is prepped and dressed in a special gown but as consciousness slips away, the actual event becomes a void. The only memories of the experience are the ones that sit either side of that empty space.

Cusp materialises the void by casting the space in empty packaging that once held surgical implements and devices used in the operating theatre. This work explores the unconscious narratives of the surgical procedure.

Funded by the Australia Council.

School of Art Research Cluster

Art, Science and the Body

Interventions through Art

Research outputs

Selected Solo Exhibitions


Packed - Platform Artist Group

Small Packages – Sophie Gannon Gallery, Richmond

Sleeper – Monash Gallery of Art


Flock – fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne

Just Passing through – fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne

Art in Public Spaces – Albury Regional Gallery


Afterlife - fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne

Selected group exhibitions

Redeeming the Ruin - The Art of Consumption - Touring Exhibition Jan 2008 - Feb 2009: Latrobe, Shepparton, Swan Hill, Horsham and Mornington Peninsula Regional Galleries

2007 - The Story of Australian Printmaking 1801-2005 – Australian National Gallery

Come Hither – interpretations of the boudoir - Wagga Regional Gallery


2007 - Redeeming the Ruin - Banyule City Council

2006 - Rural/Urban – Albury Regional Gallery

2002-03 - margins, memories and markers


Botanist of the Pavement: funded by City of Melbourne



New work – Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council

Highly Commended – Yering Station Sculpture Prize


Urban Design Award: City of Port Phillip - Best contribution to Urban Art – Aunty Alma’s Seat


Australia Council Fellowship – Community Partnerships



From left: All that remains – South Melbourne 2009, Sunday Best 1 2006 – salvaged mattress material, Aunty Alma Seat – O’Donnell Garden 2005

From left, Flock 2008 - Installation shot: plaster and felt, Sleeper 2009