Julie Vernon tackles the darker side of human life and how humanity affects indigenous species.

Julie on her work: 

"I find beauty in the imperfect; whether it's the graffiti-covered walls of back street buildings, or the characters that inhabit them.  I prefer the old to the new, the dirty to the clean and the scarred to the unscarred.  I'm particularly interested in placing my subjects within spaces which can be perceived as being run-down and derelict.  By combining realistic figurative and animal work with loose abstract marks and graffiti text I place my subjects within an imagined environment which echoes the reality of out modern-day urban landscape.

I am constantly thinking about my next work and I find inspiration in a variety of sources - a chance meeting on a street or in a park, an image on television or in a magazine - all keep me busy painting seven days a week.  I carry a camera with me everywhere I go as my work is largely based on photographs.  Using a camera is the perfect way to capture that fleeting moment in time that might otherwise be lost forever. 

My latest body of work is inspired by lost habitats; that is, man's relentless desire to turn our beautiful countryside into housing estate and supermarkets, thereby displacing British wildlife and driving it into the towns and cities. 

I construct my paintings using multiple layers of thick and thin paint, with runs and pools of colour, and often with area wiped, scraped or even sanded back to reveal previous layers.  Occasionally newspaper articles, book pages or documents are incorporated into the painting.  These are then virtually obliterated, rubbed back, torn and scraped until i'm satisfied with the variety of marks on the surface.  I never have a clear idea of the final result; therefore accidents that occur during this process are welcomed and occasionally inspire a complete change in direction.  I tend to work in oils because I find them incredibly flexible; buttery and opaque when i'm looking for lovely painterly strokes, but also thin and transparent when creating delicious image-transforming glazes.  I stop working on a painting when there is enough detail to capture the subject but still enough mystery to keep the viewer interested."