Julia de Wit

Artist Statement

It’s 2004 in the British Museum of Natural History. I stand in front of a six-panel, light-up exhibit. I am 5 years old and I walk back and forth, watching a rabbit eat flowers, die, and grow flowers from its decaying body, only for another rabbit to come along and eat those flowers again. The exhibit repeats the cycle over and over. This image burns itself into my memory forever. It represents the cyclical and inevitable. 

I create work that is a recollection of this memory and its meaning. In my art, I explore growth, decay, and the metaphorical ouroboros. The story of the museum was very literal, but the more metaphysical aspect of the ouroboros appears in mind as I create. Natural cycles and balances of creation and destruction act as a narrative path for my work, although my work isn’t obviously cyclical on the surface. 

Often I create images on impulse and then discover the metaphors that I have unconsciously made, much like automatic writing. The rabbits in my work are not necessarily the same rabbits that fascinated me as a child. They appear as extensions of and reactions to what I am musing on at the time. The animals in my prints represent parts of me, my surroundings, and my history and thoughts. More often than not I only recognize their importance through time. As is the nature of symbol and myth, a pomegranate, a moon, even a rabbit, all have historical and mythical meanings. When I create work I have to confront how I am changing these historical symbols for my own use. Am I saturating its meaning or transforming it? I build on these automatic metaphors or symbols to tell parts of my own story. I aim to inspire those viewing my art to notice the recurring symbols around them and be able to piece together their personal narratives through fantasy. 


I am a printmaker currently living in Asheville, North Carolina. As an undergraduate student at Guilford College, I found a love for art-making, specifically printmaking, and an interest in the natural world, theology, folklore, and esotericism, which informs the imagery of my prints. I am a dual citizen of South Africa, an upbringing that influences my perspective both about life and art. I explore printmaking as a narrative process, and as a means of unlocking an understanding about my own beliefs about the world — the known and unknown. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Guilford College in 2021, and now am exploring the art scene in Asheville, North Carolina, with work shown at Asheville Print Studio, and a job at a downtown gallery.