Julia Blaukopf, Colonial Wallcoverings

Julia Blaukopf Photographic Wallpaper Designs at Colonial Wallcoverings

Julia Blaukopf has worked as a photographer and creative partner with organizations and businesses in Copenhagen, Kenya, Ghana, Lithuania, Montreal and throughout the US. In 2005 Blaukopf worked with a community-run tree reforestation project in Kenya. A year later she traveled to Ghana to photograph for Women in Progress, a women’s empowerment organization. In the Summer of 2009 Julia traveled to Lithuania to photograph for the Summer Literary Seminars, a two week writing workshop. Most recently, Julia photographed creatives at work throughout Germany and Holland, where she was awarded a visiting artist fellowship at Franz Mayer of Munich and an artist residency at AREHolland. Her images of intimate moments between families, strangers in the city and local workers are aimed at creating an alternative documentary.” – Julia Blaukopf artist statement

Julia Blaukopf, Colonial Wallcoverings

Julia Blaukopf Photographic Wallpaper Designs at Colonial Wallcoverings707 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA.

Colonial Wallcoverings is a boutique wallpaper shop that specializes in hard-to-find prints from all around the world, housing extensive collections of exclusive Wall Coverings for residential and commercial projects. Colonial Wallcoverings is proud to be the distributor of many distinguished brands and collections of internationally celebrated interior designers.

For almost four decades, owner Paul Sperling has been at the heart of interior trends, offering custom paper design if you cannot find something absolutely perfect in the shop already. Colonial Wallcoverings has become a destination for textile artists and even features a small museum of historic wallpaper styles.” –  Colonial Wallcoverings website

Julia Blaukopf, Colonial Wallcoverings

Julia Blaukopf Photographic Wallpaper Designs at Colonial Wallcoverings

Colonial Wallcoverings is one of those shops in Philadelphia where you can find design and decor that you won’t find anywhere else. Located not far South of South Street on Passyunk Avenue, the shop stocks wall coverings that are beautiful, unique and rare. The storefront windows are the deep boxy display cases that are perfect for displaying wares and are reminiscent of the time when window shopping was how one would discover new items. In the times of Amazon, Tumblr and facebook, seeing Julia Blaukopf‘s designs displayed on the street in nostalgic and curator JJ Fox makes sure you will be intrigued enough to wander into the shop.

Inside the photographic wallpaper designs are displayed from vintage coat hangings on the wall, draped from coat stands and laid out on the counters. The variety of objects from limited edition wall coverings, peel and stick papers, glass panels and ceramic tiles all feature the artist’s distinctive photographic studies with subtle tones, collage and atmospheric compositions. For the urban dweller who has seen it all, the unusual patterns, techniques and luxe papers are perfect for creating a decorative environment that is intellectual and beautiful.

Julia Blaukopf, Colonial Wallcoverings

Julia Blaukopf Photographic Wallpaper Designs at Colonial Wallcoverings

Julia and DoN have been friends for years and we chatted at the opening while visitors sipped wine and ate popcorn and apple slices. I asked how the Philly photographer connected with Colonial Wallcoverings?

“JJ Fox, an interior designer, co-designed Goat Hollow with Val Nehez and it was the real impetus for this. I met Alan Metcalfe, who is an architect, and we were talking about the tiles and he said, ‘I’m working on Goat Hollow, let’s get you in.’ And then I met with Ennis Nehez and they said let’s do wallpaper and that’s what got me into wallpaper.”

Tell me more about the wallpaper.

“For the moment, I haven’t formed any limited runs yet, everything on the wall is basically meant to be a ream item for an accent wall. It could surround walls, it could be strips, it could be one large photograph…the works at  Colonial Wallcoverings are all sort of brain storms set against the wall. They could be textile mounted to the wall, the sky’s the limit with this. This is really like an idea board with different elements.”

Julia Blaukopf, Colonial Wallcoverings

Julia Blaukopf Photographic Wallpaper Designs at Colonial Wallcoverings

“It’s like a rough soft launch of the wallpaper design line. They depict scenes from all over: seaside, Scotland, Philadelphia, all over the world. It’s all my own photography and it’s all photo based.”

Do you work with Photoshop?

“Yes. I basically create in Photoshop and then send it to the wallpaper printer and say I want to print it on textural wallpaper. This is peel-and-stick, you can actually peel it off the wall multiple times. So it’s totally neat for an exhibition, moveable walls, it could be room dividers, window coverings…”

Julia Blaukopf, Colonial Wallcoverings

Julia Blaukopf Photographic Wallpaper Designs at Colonial Wallcoverings

“Basically, at this time, I’m designing and manicuring my art for the space rather than making the art to just say, ‘Hey! Who wants to buy it?’ I’m doing a little bit of both because some people say they just want to buy it. But it’s also saying, ‘Let me look at your space and figure out the spirit of it with you and design it for that space with you. The glass and ceramics could be back-splash, they could be accent walls or a mural.”

That’s a really great way to bring art into your world.

“It’s a way to bring art into your world in a way that it feels comfortable, it’s enigmatic, and it’s not like, ‘Oh, I just bought this piece and maybe I’ll put it over the coach or maybe I’ll put it over here.’ It has a grand scale presence. I am working on commercial gigs right now where I’m basically taking photographs and filling an entire wall with wallpaper. So, no longer does it have to be framed, it can be pasted to the wall which is really fascinating. It’s like a stage set in your home.”

Julia Blaukopf, Colonial Wallcoverings

Julia Blaukopf Photographic Wallpaper Designs at Colonial Wallcoverings

The large image above is from a fashion shoot Julia did last Inaugural Day photgraphed on the Rail Park on a freezing cold day. Julia took lots of shots then fed in different images, text, then it was printed on wallpaper and mounted on plexiglass. The large wallpaper printing was sponsored by PhotoLounge.

The installation in Colonial Wallcoverings is inspirational and aspirational with a wonderful world view that is contemporary and artistic. Julia Blaukopf makes wallpaper desirable, functional and decorative again.

Written and photographed by DoN Brewer except where noted.

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