Interview with Julie Podstolski & Robyn Varpins – Home & Heart

There’s a lovely exhibition – the Home and Heart exhibition – opening Thursday, 20 April 2023 at EarlyWork Gallery, 330 South Terrace, South Fremantle that you won’t want to miss.

Julie (R) and Robyn

It features the fine photorealist coloured pencil work of Julie Podstolski and the clay sculptures of Robyn Varpins, both well known, much loved and accomplished Fremantle artists.

Indeed, this is Julie and Robyn’s fifth exhibition together.

As Julie explains, the Home & Heart theme comes from the time when the world closed down to travel in 2020. Her mission then became to find her muse at home. She set out to rediscover her neighbourhood, to open up her mental borders and become a traveller here.

It was then that she really came to appreciate the gorgeous birds to be stalked in the south west of Western Australia, including around Freo.

And she began to see Fremantle with fresh eyes too.

As her concentration on both her Freo neighbourhood and local birds deepened, Julie hardly minded that she couldn’t travel any more.

Apart from Fremantle, other places represented in her work in this exhibition are Donnelly River, Araluen Botanic Park, Matilda Bay, Point Walter, Karnup and The Berry Farm in Margaret River.

Robyn says she was rather pleased not to be able to travel due to Covid as she has always enjoyed being home more than anywhere else. She loves this place.

She regarded Julie’s works and her intrepid stalking of birds here there and everywhere and was inspired to produce her pieces in this exhibition.

She says the Home and Heart theme really expresses how she feels. She nestled into her home and delved deeply into what it is that makes her love this place so much. She says it was a joy to “seek the sacred in the mundane” and notice anew the beauty all around her.

It was a journey inward to explore her perceptions and attitudes towards “Home”.

Robyn explains it took some time to translate the theme into clay forms that expressed her felt experience of loving this place. Each sculpture in the exhibition expresses one small corner of this huge theme.

The exhibition closes on 30 April.

Julie Podstolski and Robyn Varpins kindly agreed to sit down with our Editor, Michael Barker, to discuss their careers as artists and the inspirations that led to this their fifth exhibition together, and some of the works to be discovered in it. A wonderfully revealing podcast. Don’t miss it!


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Here’s the PODCAST – enjoy!