Ceramic is the main medium used by Julia Schuster. The choice of this versatile material, which can convey sensory pleasure, derives from its characteristic of focusing the viewer’s attention on the materiality of the artist’s artworks, a fundamental element in her production.
Another distinctive feature of Schuster’s work is the will to invite the observer to grasp the connections existing among body, substance, thought and emotions. The wall-mounted circular installation entitled Cycle (2018) is composed of twenty-eight concave earthenware vessels which differ slightly from each other in shape. The work of art is an allusion to the lunar phases and, at the same time, to the female menstrual cycle as the artist creates a symbolic image that pays homage to the feminine element and exalts the mystery of the human body as the place where life is generated.
The single pieces belonging to Schuster’s artwork entitled Gendered Postures (2014) were made by filling balloons of different dimensions with liquid plaster, which are then placed onto or between specific body parts in a given pose and rested motionless until the plaster is completely hardened. The physical strength which is necessary to hold these postures to mould the sculptural objects alludes to social pressure. Through each element of this artwork, the artist highlights how men and women occupy space differently. As a matter of fact, Schuster investigates how body positions are molded and influenced by the gender notions we acquire from our surrounding environment.