Feb/March 2016



Black Oak House was pleased to present a series of conceptual photographic works from Julianna Foster titled "Latent Ground." Foster presented a range of current and past projects within the architectual details of the gallery joining personal history with the current moment to unlock latent creative potentiality in her works.



Image World Essay: http://nbrokaw.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-strange-case-of-julianna-foster.html

Cleaver Magazine: http://www.cleavermagazine.com/staring-at-the-sea-by-julianna-foster/

Artist Website: http://juliannafoster.com/home.html

Artist Blog: http://juliannafoster.blogspot.com/


Through photography, video and artist books/prints, Julianna Foster’s work represents distinct narratives, which are informed for the most part by her interest in cinema and storytelling and its relationship to photography. The images reflect an ongoing investigation into the ways that the photographic image can portray a psychological relationship between the characters/architecture/landscape in each image or series of images and of course between the viewer and the subject. By exploring how the individual image can transcend its own limits, and by association, provide the opportunity for a pictorial narrative to unfold each story forms something of a larger narrative that continues to reveal itself in a variety of forms, be it a photograph, book or video. All of which rely on the fundamentals of narrative to examine and comment on the human experience.

Foster’s work usually begins from an existing narrative, story or text. The series, Swell started with a story of the aftermath of a nor’easter, which transformed into a retelling of events as interpreted by the artist. Similarly, the series, once, you were an island, deals with similar narrative structures, which originated as a story, told to Foster by a friend about an urban legend surrounding the demise of a foreigner traveling to the United States. The legend goes that a woman, depressed with her personal situation, comes to the Midwest to reunite with her married lover. This experience becomes an albatross and ultimately leads to her death. As the story develops it is completely embellished and misconstrued by the local media and the question of what is a factual account of the event and what are constructed aspects of the narrative begin to surface.  


Foster’s current work uses imagery from natural landscapes and architecture as well as hand-made, model-scale, built environments (again, of both architecture and landscape) that are lit, photographed and digitally manipulated. Each series consists of digitally manipulated images—a combination of photographs that she captured and found images. Through these processes, the intention is not to illustrate in a literal sense or to dictate and record the witness version of the experience, as in the Swell series, but instead to take liberties with a narrative account of an event and reconstruct the outcome, of sorts. This allows the work to operate on several levels to recount the stories of what happened through various perspectives.


Julianna Foster is currently (2015-2016) a visiting assistant professor in the Photography program at the University of the Arts. Foster has taught in various departments at UArts since 2003, such as Photography (formerly Media Arts), Foundation, Fine Arts, MFA in Book Arts + Printmaking and MFA in Studio Art, as well as the Continuing Education and Pre-College programs. Courses include both lecture and studio, Photography I & II, Color Concepts, Critical and Contemporary Issues in Photography Seminar, Senior Photography Workshop, Professional Practices, Fine Arts Seminar, 2D Design Principles and Time Motion. Foster has been a guest lecturer at Rowan University and Temple University and has sat on Fulbright and Graduate Thesis Committees at UArts. She received a BFA in Design from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2001) and an MFA in Book Arts + Printmaking from the University of the Arts (2006).

Foster was an artist member of Vox Populi Gallery in Philadelphia from 2006 to 2013, where she has had four solo exhibitions and participated in group exhibitions in New Orleans, London and New York City. In addition to her individual ventures, over the years she has collaborated with various artists on projects that include creating artist multiples, artist books and series of photographs and videos. Foster was awarded Faculty Enrichment Grants from UArts in 2010, 2012 and 2013, and also received a Faculty Professional Development Grant from the Pre-College Programs to attend classes at International Center for Photography in NYC.

Solo exhibitions in Philadelphia include Philadelphia Art Alliance, Painted Bride Art Center, Fleisher Art Memorial (2013 Wind Challenge recipient), and Gravy Studio and Gallery. Selected group exhibitions: Pennsylvania College of Art and Design/Lancaster, Pa.; Front Gallery/New Orleans; Newspace Center for Photography/Portland, Ore.; Power Plant Gallery/ Durham, N.C.; Abington Art Center/Abington, Pa.; and Grizzly Grizzly/Philadelphia. Other projects include work in Conveyor Magazine (Dark Matter Issue December 2012), Proof Magazine (Kirkwood Photo Essay and article Spring 2013), essay and artist feature in Cleaver Magazine (Winter 2014), essay and images in Good Game Magazine (Spring 2016). Foster was a 2014 artist in residence at the Philadelphia Photo Art Center and was selected as a 2015/2016 finalist at the Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia. She has also participated in international group exhibitions in England, Romania, Spain and most recently Korea and Bulgaria, and has work featured in private collections across the country.


Black Oak House | 419 S. 51st St. Philadelphia, PA 19143 | © 2016