Julie Espiau
Nationality :
Age :
55 y.o.
Residing :
Julie Espiau
Artist’s prices ranging from
150 € to 4 000 €
Followers Art Traffikers

I forge matter and sculpt hollowness ; I pierce through bodies in order to reach one’s emotions, invisible and unutterable, beyond the bounds of postures and appearances.

Julie Espiau

Introducing Julie Espiau

Julie has always loved to paint. As a young girl, her favorite companions were pencils, paintbrushes, paper and canvas. She always knew she wanted to be an artist, or teach art at the very least. However, life often led her stray from her passion. And although she would try to come back it, she would “sidetrack” it because of external factors and obligations, or on the basis of a reasonable choice. Throughout her life, she swayed back and forth between her true passion and her professional and personal choices.

But, in the end, Art prevailed…after a serious accident that pinned her down and required 3 years of convalescent care, she decided to pick her paintbrushes again and take painting lessons…”It helped me hold on” she says. And while painting with vitality and joy, she was struck by hardship yet again which made her loose her passion altogether. That’s when a friend suggested she should try her hand at sculpting. “It was a revelation. The clay soothed me and allowed me to wander, to stray into my own little world… moving on to clay has allowed me to sculpt what I used to paint, but differently.” Drawings are still very much a part of her artistic creation, but her sculptures are now the fruit of her creations which we are thrilled to have you discover today. The relationship with clay, or to say with matter, volumes, colors, and void (especially!), that Julie Espiau has built with sculpting has liberated her and opened artistic lexical fields she continuously explores and strives to sublimate.

Her subject matter ? The same it’s always been, even when she was drawing and painting : portrayal of Women. Her intention ? To go above and beyond appearances…especially the beauty standards society tries to impose on us. Beauty is elsewhere. In that sense, sculpting was a revelation for it allowed her to approach the topic differently and more into depth, rendering a different view point of what she used to sketch : what a body’s appearance conceals.

In regards to sculpting, Julie explains “it’s much more than just representing the female body; through void, I try to express heightened emotions.” At first glance, they are abstract, each being a figurative depiction of the emotions, spirit, and beauty of Women. She wants these Women to be enticing and voluptuous, like the curves of her sculptures; their hollowness let us see, feel and transfigure the soul and Female Beauty of the women that inspire Julie, whose physical appearances tend to hide. “I pierce through the physical shell to bring insight to a women’s most inner, intimate core; what we do not want or cannot say. Empty and full spaces are an integral part of my sculptures. One cannot exist without the other. They complete each other, speak to one another and intertwine to yield an original creation. I forge matter and sculpt hollowness, like many destinations that reveal emotions and the inner core.” 

That’s also why it is crucial to Julie that each sculpture be unique, and why she refuses to make numbered editions : “each woman is unique”.


Each of her sculptures is inspired by a feeling, and her creations are charged with fleeting emotions.


“As a woman and mother of 5, I long to eradicate stereotypes of perfect bodies. I decided to sublimate voluptuousness in order to condemn the canons of beauty imposed on women. The bodies that I mold stonewall the stereotypes of “woman-object” and my sculptures give them the room to express themselves. The beauty of a body isn’t limited to mere perfection. On the contrary, its beauty is vested in its uniqueness and its distinction.”


To that end, Julie Espiau incessantly fills notebooks with hundreds of words and rough sketches whose strokes are guided by emotion. Sketches she will sort, arrange and hang on a wall in front of which Julie will stand for hours on end. Then one day, she will pick one out for reasons best known to her, and will begin to model it in clay.


The sketch merely “displays” and guides one angle of what will become three-dimensional, implying that the other dimensions come to life by way of her hands and sculpting tools, driven by the creative moment, the matter and an emotion.


“At this stage, the world around me disappears and time stands still, working for hours and forgetting even to eat and sleep.”

The sculpture takes shape and comes to life. First in a consolidated form, but whose interior hollowness is preserved only to be revealed by incising the physical shell, creating a curvy, chiseled sculpture.

Because unlike most sculptors, Julie Espiau forefeels void before matter. According to her “the story is written by the rythmn of voidness”. And those who are acquainted with ceramics shall appreciate the technical prowess it takes to obtain this airiness…and vacuousness. That itself is a restraint for she would like to go even further. She is considering using wax or bronze which would allow her a wider array of shapes, curves and voids that ceramics prevent her from exploiting.

Lastly, and after the chiseled clay has baked in the oven, comes the choice of colors. “The color is chosen at the last moment, guided by the theme and the emotion that spawned the sculpture, but also how I feel at that present moment.”

Lo and behold, a sculpture is born. And, the initial sketch which gave root to the sculpture is even handed over to its buyer, like a birth certificate, before being separated from its creator, not without pain Julie admits, for she has grown attached to them…

The sum of all these factors account for the singularity and Beauty of Julie Espiau’s artworks. Each sculpture reflects a womanly emotion, an emotional depiction of Woman, a figuration of the Soul and of the feminine emotion whose beauty lies righteously within, revealed and sublimated by the hollowness. In that respect, Julie Espiau admits to being “frustrated” because the technique hinders the sentiment she would truly like to portray. This is why she is constantly looking for solutions and ways to improve her technique. There is no doubt that her high standards and her quest for the purest portrayal of the Female soul will lead her to create more powerful sculptures that embody Women’s Beauty. Even more so, now that she has moved closer to nature and the ocean, sources of inspiration to her work.

For us who love genuine Artists, in constant evolution and whose Talent serve the interests of Beauty, we are absolutely delighted to have her join our selection and to allow you to discover her wonderful work.



Henri Matisse Amedeo Modigliani Vassily Kandinsky


All artworks by Julie Espiau