Julie Blyfield’s silver jewellery and vessels reflect her fascination with plants and botany. Her interests have expanded from the personal observations of exotic and native species in her own garden to research into the broader cultural sphere of plant collections and the history of collecting. In 2005 Blyfield’s research uncovered an early twentieth century collection of desert plants. “It made me think about the Aboriginal people who used these plants, and how they now exist as a record of Australian history and culture. Botanical imagery is represented in the designing and making of jewellery throughout history and also in contemporary contexts”. Recent trips to the desert country in the north east of South Australia have prompted contemplation of the changing landscape and the remarkable capacity for adaptation shown by organisms living in extreme conditions. The unique range of patterns and shapes produced by organisms out of their struggle for survival is a source of inspiration for Julie and their unusual forms and colours surface in her designs. Her subtle interpretations reveal very fine nuances of texture and organic patterns in poetic compositions that strike a natural balance between fluid movement and stillness.
Based in Adelaide, Julie studied jewellery making and silversmithing at the South Australian College of the Arts between 1984 and 1987. She has been featured in exhibitions in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, USA and Asia. Her award-winning jewellery has been acquired for various collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Queensland Art Gallery and Art Gallery of South Australia. Julie was also the winner of the Waterhouse Art Prize in 2011.