Julie Cockburn Biography

Julie Cockburn is a contemporary British artist born in the United Kingdom in 1966. She is known for her imaginative transformations of found photographs through embroidery and other mixed-media techniques. Having trained as a sculptor at London’s Central Saint Martins, Cockburn approaches her work as if she was working with a three-dimensional form.


Her process involves selecting vintage and found photographs such as old family portraits, anonymous snapshots, and postcards which are meticulously transformed by hand into entirely new pieces. Many of Cockburn’s works are photographs with overlays of vibrant and intricate embroidery. She uses colorful threads to create patterns, textures and geometric shapes interacting with the original images. Through this process of transformation, Cockburn not only adds a new layer of visual interest but also imbues each piece with her own creative interpretation and emotional resonance. Cockburn’s work is characterized by a skillful fusion of past and present, as the found photographs merge with contemporary artistic interventions. This juxtaposition of old and new invites viewers to contemplate themes of memory, identity, and the passage of time. By repurposing and reimagining forgotten images, Cockburn’s work challenges traditional notions of photography and offers a fresh perspective on the intersection of craft and conceptual art.


Julie Cockburn’s work can be found in private and public collections such as the Akzo Nobel Art Foundation, The Netherlands; Art In Embassies, USA; British Land, London, UK; Caldic Collection, The Netherlands; Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Nottingham, UK; John Jones, London, UK; Miniature Museum of Contemporary Art, The Netherlands; Pier 24, San Francisco, USA; The Arts Club, London, UK; The Ivy, London, UK; The Wellcome Collection, London, UK; Yale Center for British Art, Connecticut, USA.