Presence | Absence

MFA Thesis Exhibition 2020 - Stony Brook University

Welcome | Julia Miller | Joseph Santarpia | Exhibition Catalog | Connect with the Artists

Julia Miller at her exhibition
Julia Miller, MFA 2020

My practice begins by peeling apart the experiences that have shaped me into who I am today. This takes form as material presences and absences as I examine connectivity between people who are close to me, objects from my past, and childhood memories. Following the destruction and rebuilding of my home and town from superstorm Sandy, I have become interested in exploring the memories of family traditions and physical space.

The process begins by creating a sculpture that will be removed from the final piece. The mark left behind is a soft layered outline of paints suggesting the absence of the original object. When evoking memory, absence is more important than the actual physical presence of the sculpture.

To explore experiences from my life now, I create tangible works by using printmaking, found objects, clay, plaster, metalwork, and photography. My work titled Earnest examines the need and vulnerability of two lovers living apart. Through printmaking, I replicate the marks and language that connect these two people.


Listen to Julia Discuss the Exhibition and Her Work:

Watch Julia Deliver her Salon Talk:


Portals, 2020, 9" x 6", Aerosol Paints on Canvas

Earnest, 2020, Size Varied, Over 400 monoprints of a Letter Correspondence

Woodwork, 2018, 4" x 24" x 1", Spray Paint on Wood

Untitled, 2019, 4' x 4' x 3', House Paint on the Wall and Floor

Student Debt Student Body, 2019, 8.5" x 20", One to one accounts of interviews with Stony Brook students, Paper and Ink

Recollection, 2019, 333" x 81.5" x 119", House paint, Baseboard and Crown Molding, Vinyl

The Act of Painting, 2019, 12' x 9' x 4', Spray Paint on the Wall and Floor

Passage, 2019, 333" x 81.5" x 119", Cardboard Boxes

Environment, 2018, 8' x 4',
Spray Paint on the Wall

Tea Cup, 2018, 8" x 10" x 1.75",
Spray Paint on Canvas

Empty Place, 2018, 48" x 97" x .5",
Spray Paint on Wood

Drain Ribbons, 2018, 9" x 12" x 1.75",
Spray Paint on Canvas

Doll Two, 2018, 5.5" x 4",
Spray Paint on Wood

Doll, 2018, 5" x 7",
Spray Paint on Canvas

Cup, 2018, 5" x 7",
Spray Paint on Canvas

Home, 2018, 4.5" x 6.375" x 4",
Metal Structure Self-Brewed in a Corrosive Liquid


Want to learn more or connect with the artist?

Artist webpage:
To schedule a conversation with Julia, please click here.

Salon Artist Talk by Julia Miller
Thursday, April 23, 4pm
Click here to join Julia's Zoom Talk


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