Julie Gautier-Downes was born in San Diego and relocated to New York City in 2001, prompting her bi-coastal identity and interest in perceptions of home. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2011 and her Master of Fine Arts in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2014. She currently resides in Santa Barbara, California. She has exhibited in California, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Gautier-Downes current studio practice is the investigation of somatic traces left in barren landscapes that become artifacts of the past. The domestic vestiges that now haunt these spaces are transformed into a narrative waiting to be deciphered. Her process involves documenting deserted houses and abandoned items that allude to the home and family. The spaces she records seem to be in a perpetual state of disarray, imbuing the notion that a single event stimulated the need for the inhabitants to leave hastily. Gautier-Downes re-frames each scene into her rendition of the stories each space unveils. The accounts she relays reveal the trauma each housing structure suffers as it slowly decomposes into the environment as well as the physicality of displacement.