Julia Selin


“I always get these images in my head when I try to sleep. All the different paintings that I want to make”.

AT: Where are you from and how/why you start engaging to art?

JS: I’m from a small place in Sweden. I always enjoyed painting and drawing, and in high school my art teacher said: “You should study art”. So I did.


AT: When did it become serious?

JS: In the Art Academy I guess. A whole building full of people making art all day long, talkingabout art, reading about art… Of course you’re gonna take it seriously.


AT: Are there any person that have been significant in your progression as an artist?

JS: My teachers and fellow students at the academy and nowadays my friends and studio mates.

Leap wade sink swim run fly creep, installation.

AT: What’s your first approach to the work? Where does your process start?

JS: I always get these images in my head when I try to sleep. All the different paintings that I want to make. I try to write down the ideas, but translated into words when half asleep isn’t the easiest to understand later on. It can be a sentence like: ”Landscape like summer rain begin brown grey weak colors then sprinkle with fun colors, if possible, standing black with sticky bottom edge looking out over steep hill blue black purple, lightly painted backlit with red light”. Then in my studio I lay a big canvas on the floor and walk around on it for awhile, gathering the guts to starts.


AT: What are your favorite tools and materials for working?

JS: Rubber gloves, scrapers, brushes and cloths. I paint with oil paint and a lot of linseed oil on polyester canvas.


AT: Do you leave your work open to interpretation? Or do you think the viewer should engage with your work in a specific way?

JS: I don’t think you can control how people see your art, but I always give my works titles which gives the viewer a hint.


AT: How do you feel while you are working? You think of the final result?

JS: I feel curious, whats the next step? Sometimes I feel really devastated, like how could this hideous work come out of me? And sometimes, rarely though, euphoria, or is it hybris? (Hahah) maybe a combination. I try to be humble to the process, and sensitive about what the painting needs.

To each pulsating location, oil on canvas, 196x230cm, 2017.

AT: How do you understand when a work is finished?

JS: When it is something on its own. It just stands there.


AT: Where does the inspiration for the work come from? Do you find inspiration outside or it’s all inside you?

JS: Both. I think inspiration can be found everywhere, what ever interest you. Like a bad tv show, a song, a poem, a walk in the park, an old graffiti, a memory of a lake you once swam in, how your body moves as you cross a muddy field or shaves your legs in the bath.


AT: Do you think art can be learned or it is something innate?

JS: It can be learned, if you are openminded.


AT: There are any artists that influenced your works? Why?

JS: Many artist. Peder Balke, Edvard Munch, Robert Smithson, Hilma af Klint, Hanna Ryggen, HelenFrankenthaler, Marlene Dumas, Ann Edholm.. Artists who’s work made me see and understand artin a new way or touched me deeply. I saw a big exhibition with Marlene Dumas at Tate in London,and I felt like the paintings where staring at me as much as I stared at them. It was intense. Also Iwould say Munch has inspired me a lot, the atmosphere, the colours, the way the paint almost poursthrough his images like waves.

By biting and creeping she pursues her way, oil on canvas, 270x196cm, 2017.
The failure is a tiny spot where saggy soil is waiting, oil on canvas, 270x196cm, 2018.

AT: How important is for you the role of social media?

JS: It’s just for fun. I do love seeing studio shots and works in process from fellow colleagues.


AT: What’s your opinion about the contemporary art system nowadays from your point of view as an artist?

JS: There are so many different systems I think. I don’t know what to say about the global art scene, other than it makes me wanna go to bed and stay there ha ha. But the art world is also full of amazing people, artists that help each other, form communities or share experiences.


AT: What do you find to be the most challenging or daunting thing about pursuing art? What is the most rewarding part of working as an artist?

JS: The most challenging part is not to be too judgmental towards yourself. One has to remember that its ok to make shitty work sometimes. Also the economical part is stressful, but I think I’m pretty good at ignoring that. The most rewarding part is when you get surprised! Suddenly in a painting you find something, both familiar and new at the same time. You know in what direction to go.


AT: What do you do outside of painting?

JS: I run a gallery together with my friends, called Alta Art Space. Other than that I read books, watch Netflix, walk around the city, meeting friends.


AT: What are your goals and expectations for the future?

JS: I hope I will be able to work a lot with my art. I want to have enough time in my studio, exploring my every idea, how silly they might be.

Follow your heart or a bug, oil on canvas (and wall), 44x37cm, 2017.
Julia Selin

Born 1986 Trollhättan, Sweden. Lives and works in Malmö, Sweden.


2011 - 13 Master of Fine Arts, Umeå Art Academy

2007 - 10 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Umeå Art Academy

2005 - 07 The Nordic Artschool, Kokkola, Finland

Solo/duo Exhibitions

2018 Leap wade sink swim run fly creep, The Royal Academy of Fine Arts (ongoing Feb 3 -

March 11)

2017 WRONG PATH, Galleri Flach, Stockholm

2016 Namn är för intima (Names are too intimate), Galleri Ping-Pong, Malmö

2014 Förna & Tidevann, Galleri Box, Göteborg, (with Hannah Rosvoll, curated by Fredrik

Åkum )

2014 Marken sviktar (Soft ground), Galleri Flach, Stockholm

2013 Genom en evig ström av nätter (Through an Eternal Stream of Nights), Trollhättans

Konsthall (with Stina Persson )

2012 En svart orm som stig att gå på (A Black Snake as a Path to Walk Upon), The Art

Academy Gallery, Umeå

2009 Mammals, B-galleria, Turku, Finland (with Matti Sumari and Jaakko Pallasvuo)
Group exhibitions

2017 WHAT DO YOU REPRESENT NOW? Curated by Martin Kozlowski, Plan 5, Stockholm

2017 The Island of Blossoming trees, Drömmarnas växthus, Malmö

2017 Campsite, Harrison Hill Road, Swannanoa, NC, USA

2017 Selvskabt Modvind, curated by André Butzer, Sunday-s Gallery, Copenhagen

2017 På annan plats, Ystads Konstmuseum

2017 Van Gogh’s Fan Club, Alta Art Space at Å’kaj, Limhamn

2017 Polyfoni, Galleri Wallner, Simris

2016 Leonard Forslund, Sigrid Sandström och Julia Selin, Galleri Wallner/High Court,

2016 Deep inside, curated by Nadim Samman, V Moscow International Biennale for Young
Art, Moscow, Russia

2016 Calculation, Kurgan Regional Art Museum, Kurgan, Russia

2016 Stipendiatutställning, Royal Academy of Art, Stockholm

2015 Map of the New Art: Imago Mundi, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, Italy

2015 Market Art Fair, Galleri Flach, Liljevalchs konsthall, Stockholm

2014 Market Art Fair, Galleri Flach, Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm

2013 24 Spaces, Malmö Konsthall, Malmö

2013 Farewell My Lovely, curated by Joakim Borda, Bildmuseet, Umeå

2013 Döden som sover, curated by Carl Fredrik Hårleman, Galleri Flach, Stockholm

2012 HÄR, The Art Academy Gallery, Umeå

2011 The Reflecting Landscape, Bildmuseet, Umeå

2010 Europa Underground, Clab Gallery, Lodi, Italy

2010 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bildmuseet Umeå


2016 Ellen Trotzig’s grant, Malmö Art Museum

2016 Jenny Lind’s travel grant, The Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts

2016 Trollhättan’s culture grant

2015 Vera och Göran Agnekil’s grant, The Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts

2014 One year working grant from the Swedish Arts Grants Committee

2013 Grant from Umeå municipality Cultural Committee, Umeå, Sweden