Lisson Grove: Artist Julie Bloom offers 10 chance to have their stories translated into paintings

Having been around the world, Julie Bloom  is looking to engage with local people with her new project.

Having been around the world, Julie Bloom is looking to engage with local people with her new project. - Credit: Juliette Fevre

A Church Street-based creative has offered ten people in her community the chance to turn their personal stories into abstract pieces of art. 

Julie Bloom, an artist, poet, and photographer, says she has always expressed herself in alternative ways having lived a life packed with all sorts of adventures. 

“I’ve lived a life and I had experience,” she said, “And I’m lucky to be there.”  

With her mum being a pianist and her dad an architect, she was raised in Nairobi until she was two. Before she was 17, she lived in England, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland to name just six. 

When she left school at 17, she then went straight away to keep travelling the world as her parents taught her to. 

Living as a nomad, she has been surprised by the lockdown which brought an “insane” creativity to her. 

Soon, she would start making calls. She first spoke to a friend in India from whom she had not heard for years, and another one in Belgium, and all the friends she made around the world.

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Hearing from all those friends and their stories, an idea came up: “I wanted to be of service somehow as well as keep up my artistic practice,” she said.  

Her “Translations” project invites people to trust and share their emotions and experiences.

“As they speak, I translate what I’m hearing pen direct to paper,” she said. Following that, she would explain what she drew to the storyteller. 

Ten people of Church Street Community in Lisson Grove are offered to have their stories translated by Julie. The project is fully inclusive and anonymous, allowing everyone to share their stories in a safe environment. 

Believing in the therapeutic value of art, Julie is aiming to do translations for a wide range of people, from different cultures and backgrounds. 

Later, she would like it to be a programme, that she would teach in care homes, schools, rehab centres, in order for it to be part of a healing process. 

“Bringing awareness, comfort, understanding and a sense of solidarity,” is at the core of the project. 

So far, organisations Gap Kenya and MewSo, as well as some individuals, had stories translated by Julie and had found the process uplifting and moving. 

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