Julia Kolberg-Zettel

We Built This City, 2019

We Built This City is a project on the combination of Toronto’s modern and historical architecture which creates an urban landscape that is widely unmatched and unique to the city. Because of the continued growth of the city and it’s needs, Toronto was in a constant state of change, tearing down anything in hindering new development. Thirty years ago, the City of Toronto decided to preserve older buildings by beginning to build around or onto structures deemed to be important historical sites. The collaboration of old and new as a result of this policy, creating a modern and hybridized architecture. This series highlights the hybrid style of architecture that is prominent in Toronto. The hybridization of new and old architecture ensures that the history of Toronto will not be torn down and forgotten, but rather be integrated into both present and future development of the city.

Q&A with Julia Kolberg-Zettel

Q. Could you tell us about any current projects that you are working on?

A. I am currently working on my second thesis project titled Entfaltung which is a project about my own self-identity and examining how I became the creative person I am today, finishing my final year in art school. I will be examining the relationship between my Oma and I, and her allowing me to be free to make whatever crafts I wanted to. Ultimately, I want to show that even though my Oma isn’t here with us anymore, she is still in everything that I create.

Q. Describe your project in its current state and what you’d like it’s final outcome to be.

A. Currently, I am still in the figuring out stage of the project. So far it’s looking more and more what I want the final outcome to be like, but I still need to do some work in order to get there. I would ideally like it to be different origami templates with images of my Oma and I on different backgrounds, but all be cohesive together.

Q. How did you reach the conceptualization of your current project?

A. I was trying to figure out a way to represent my Oma and also crafting in one project, and I figured the best way to do that would be to have her physically on the craft object. The template also allows the viewers to see the steps that were taken during its creation, without seeing the final folded product. I think that’s important because even though I am in my last months in this program, I am not a final product yet and I will continue to keep growing and taking different steps.

Q. Are there any artists that have inspired this work? If so, why?

A. Robert J. Lang does a lot of origami work and has some of his origami actually unfolded to see the intricacy of this craft. Also, James Roper uses origami in order to create installations, using a lot of colour that is common in the practice. I haven’t found many artists using photography and origami together yet, but I’m hoping to find some!

Q. Describe any challenges you have faced and any solutions that you have found to be helpful in the creative process.

A. I always get super in my head while creating a project and I let myself get into a creative rut a lot of the time. I‘ve realized that I just need to start shooting and actually start to see the project start to come together and then I’m like “Okay, let’s keep working on this because it actually looks good!”

Q. Have you had any success in getting your work out into the world? Do you have suggestions for other artists?

A. I have submitted to a few publications and shows that are affiliated with Ryerson, and some online publications, but nothing recently honestly. My suggestion would be to submit to as many things as you can with work that you love, you never know where or who will see it!

Work In Progress: Entfaltung, 2020