Artist Julie Heffernan’s paintings are technically complicated, layers of detail filling her often 5-foot-tall canvases. Although enchanting, her environments reference disaster and distress, situations that peek into how we might reposition ourselves in nature after massive traumas such as Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill.
“We are slowly making our world unlivable, and I want to bring to the surface the destructive action, waster, and contamination that is generally invisible to us,” says Heffernan in her artist statement. “I need to imagine another way, to outfit myself with signs and banners that speak louder than I can, to envision how we might remake the world as it is slowly falling apart.”
Another far lighter inspiration Heffernan works with in her paintings is the childhood game of Chutes and Ladders. Like the climbing, twisting, and meandering board game, her paintings allow the eye to crawl up, down, and around the forests and mountains she paints.