In the late eighties Julie manoeuvred back into painting, juggling work and motherhood as women typically do – with determination and efficiency. These early works mirror this energy, painted with a fresh, raw fervour, with multiple layers of child-like images reflecting her children’s drawings.
Painting remained the focus until 2002 when the nature of her art practice shifted. The new works became light and open, a combination of painting, drawing, printmaking and stitched assemblage. The change was a return to the source, an extension of works started at art college. In 2005, an exhibition of new works at Cairns Regional Gallery was to clarify and establish this new direction for Julie in a dramatic way. Décor Sermon was 50 metres of artwork 148cms high covering the walls of the Loft Art Space. It was a raucous combination of materials – stitched panels, found objects and thought-provoking imagery – presented as a playful reinvention of the puffed up notion of the perfect interior décor.
In 2006 Julie turned her creatively analytical mind to commonplace café signage for her new body of work Menu Board. With trademark playfulness and wit, Julie played with the text, language and aesthetics of chalkboard café menus and roadside food stalls and reinvented them with new beauty and meaning. With Julie’s poetic twist, the signs assumed cultural, geographical and even economic symbolism while retaining an intriguing ambiguity. Menu Board was exhibited at KickArts Contemporary Arts in Cairns in 2007.