Much of my artistic practice concerns aspects of the natural world and how it is faring in our current era, which has been termed “The Anthropocene”, a period where the greatest impacts on the geology and ecosystems of the planet are caused by humans. Guided by the study of biology and botany, and influenced by traditional natural history practices, I spend time researching ecosystems and the connections within them, particularly via site visits. Following ethical foraging practices, I collect various specimens of plants, animals, fungi and lichen, for study, and as material to incorporate into my work. The photographic images in this body of work are created using a high-resolution scanner: specimens collected during site visits are arranged on the glass of the scanner bed, in groupings based on certain constraints. In some cases the items may have been collected from the same location, in other cases they serve to illustrate connections in ecosystems that may not be immediately apparent to a casual observer. The photographs, printed at a very large scale, allow the viewer to get an unusually close look at each object. The images are elegiac, dark, mourning, representing not contemporary specimens but rather, recontextualized, some last remaining pieces of a fragmented world, floating in the void.
Julya Hajnoczky was born in Calgary and raised by hippie parents, surrounded by unruly houseplants, bookishness and art supplies, with CBC radio playing softly, constantly, in the background. It was inevitable, then, that she would grow up to be an artist. She holds a BA in French from the University of Calgary and a BDes in photography from the Alberta College of Art + Design. Her multidisciplinary practice includes digital and analog photography, embroidery, and paper sculpture. She draws inspiration from science and natural history, classic children’s literature, and a lifetime of very Canadian summers at the family camp at the lake. If she’s not in her home studio working on something tiny, she’s out in the forest working on something big.