Jamie and I were introduced around fifteen years ago by a mutual friend who thought that the two people he knew who both made kinetic sculpture (mobiles) would probably have quite a lot in common! We have been married for 13 years and have been collaborating on art projects throughout that time alongside Jamie’s career in state education. We live and work in Ilkley with our two daughters.
Jamie and I believe passionately that mobiles possess a set of very specific formal and aesthetic qualities which make them relevant, compelling and unique in a number of ways. These are:
Balance – The world is held in a state of equilibrium which has led to the perfect conditions for life. It is only now that the natural world is at risk that we are coming to appreciate how delicate that balance is and how hard it is to recover it once it has been lost and this idea of the fragility of balance is what underpins our work. Mobiles involve the counter-balancing of different, often heavy, elements but the points of equilibrium are miniscule. A single breath blowing on the shapes can radically change the way the mobile turns and each and every part of a mobile is crucial to the balance of the whole. This is suggestive of ideas of community and value.
Freedom within a structure – The individual elements within each mobile have a limited sphere of movement but within that space they explore every possible configuration and relationship. It is impossible to predict the ever changing shapes that a mobile will create as it moves.
Mindfulness and engagement – The fluid movement of mobiles is engaging and they invite the viewer to search for the next shape, the next configuration. In this way they draw us in and ground us in the present moment, encouraging mindfulness and contemplation. As a result we have found that mobiles can perform a therapeutic function.
Secondary forms – Mobiles invite us to look at the changing spaces generated in-between the shapes and they interact with their physical context by creating shadows and framing what is behind them. These shadows and spaces can be seen as aesthetic experiences in their own right, in effect secondary artforms created by the original artwork as it interacts with its environment.
“I have always loved Juliet and Jamie’s work and admired it at exhibitions, but I never anticipated how much I would enjoy living with a mobile in my home. It has become a focal point in our living space, we watch it move, observe the shadows it creates at different times of the day and all of my family have commented on its calming nature. The oak and ash compliment the landscape beyond. It’s unique, beautifully made and a very special work of art.”
“What I love about Jamie and Juliet’s mobiles is that they give me such pleasure. I’ve hung mine in the dining area of my kitchen, and the changing light and air currents of the room reflect on the mobile under which I sit watching it change and move.”
Lady Diana Brittan
‘As a depression sufferer, to gaze at the silent, gentle movements casting weird and wonderful shadows on the wall has been therapeutic. My mobile is a beautifully crafted, moving piece of art! Thank you Juliet and Jamie.’
We are passionate about sharing the qualities of mobile making with other people. Balance is omnipresent in all of our lives and I find that both children and adults are fascinated to think about this. Finding a tiny point of balance is something we all do all the time in various ways, and articulating it within the frame of a workshop using a balance is, we think, very useful.
I have carried out workshops with a wide range of participants, from school groups alongside larger scale commissions (https://julietandjamiegutch.com/portfolio/a-murmuration-of-starlings/), family and children’s refugee and asylum seeker workshops (https://julietandjamiegutch.com/portfolio/playing-with-balance-workshop-at-bevan-healthcare/,https://julietandjamiegutch.com/portfolio/playing-with-balance/), and the Skipton Women’s Refugee Group.
We have carried out workshops with:
All Saints Primary School, Ilkley
Moorfield School, Ilkley
Cramlington High, Northumberland
Bevan Healthcare, Bradford
Wharfedale Refugee Response, Ilkley
Skipton Women’s Refugee Group
Outside the Box Cafe, Ilkley
2011 – present
Full time sculptor (mobiles)
2005 – 2011
Artistic partner on commission and exhibitions, alongside work in development and arts
2000 – 2005
IMG Artists (research)
1998 – 2000
Lived and worked in Italy (British Council, IFAD Rome)
Received the BBC Seton-Watson Bursary for research in Russia and the subsequent making of a radio programme for Russian Service BBC on Shakespeare in Russia.
1992 – 1996
Birmingham University, Combined Honours Russian and English. Prose published in The Critical Quarterly
2015 – present
Assistant Head, Ilkley Grammar School
2011 – 2014
Head of Modern Languages, Harrogate Grammar School and artistic partner in various commissions and exhibitions
2003 – 2011
Full time teacher (French and Italian)
1998 – 2003
Translation and art projects
1994 – 1998
Cambridge University, Combined Honours French and Italian
Commmission for the Head Office of Olleco
Private commission for Terry and Liz Bramall
Selected to create a large-scale sculpture for the reception area of the new Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington
John Lewis: Commission of four large-scale mobiles within the glass Prow in new flagship John Lewis store on the Olympic site in Stratford. Title: An Exaltation of Larks. Commission included presentations of ideas and drawings to a number of John Lewis partners, handling large budgets, subcontracting parts of the work to Art Fabrications, working to tight deadlines and organising and co-ordinating installation.
Two commissions for Pan Peninsular Building, Canary Wharf
Four commissions for St. George’s Hospital, London
New Treatment Centre, Milton Keynes Hospital – Large scale mobile for atrium space
Royal Gloucester Hospital – Selected as resident artists for the Ophthalmology department to create work in collaboration with a local special needs school
Four large-scale mobiles for Building H, BP, Sunbury Upon Thames
Watermark Gallery, Harrogate
The Soden Collection, Shrewsbury
Lotte Inch Gallery, York
London Art Fair and COLLECT (jaggedart stand)
REFUGE, a joint show in private collector Ronnie Duncan’s Barn Gallery
An Embrace of Trees, a solo show in a private house and gardens, North Yorkshire
COLLECT, Saatchi Gallery (jaggedart stand)
Swing and Swirl with Thurle Wright, jaggedart, London
COLLECT, Saatchi Gallery (jaggedart stand)
Collect, Saatchi GalleryLondon
Wall installation for Collect, Saatchi Gallery
London Art Fair
Desire Lines, Jaggedart, London (with two other artists). Selected for Financial Times Critics Choice by Jackie Wullschlager
A Siege of Cranes, The Barn Gallery, Weston (gallery space belonging to collector Ronnie Duncan)
London Art Fair
Selected for the Prince’s House at the Ideal Home Show & RA Summer Exhibition
London Art Fair
Group show, Jaggedart & London Art Fair
Group show, Jaggedart & solo show, Curwen Gallery (smaller upstairs gallery)
Group show, Jaggedart, & group show The Curwen Gallery
Group show, The Curwen Gallery
Two exterior mobiles selected for the Newby Hall Sculpture exhibition
Solo show, Curwen Gallery
When fabrication is required for our pieces, we work with http://www.artfabs.co.uk/