Julia Harvie, movement artist

Julia Harvie at Lean Means

Formally my work explores concepts of labour, memory, the domestic, the presence of fragility/strength and the temporal. To build this nest is a sort of meditation on the ‘claiming of territory’ and one that I see as being distinctly feminine. It is a somewhat surreal depiction of my dreams and hopes for this city. The project explores ideas of ritual, the natural world, developing an archive of ‘architectural’ movements, as a I build a nest around me.

I am interested in compartmentalising time in relation to the number six. It is six years since the first major earthquake in Christchurch, the festival event lasts for six hours. Each hour will be broken into six sections of activation, although not necessarily in even amounts of time: Gathering, loading, carrying, climbing, stillness, building. I will be in a loop each hour as I carry out these actions. They are a score in which I can play and make decisions in real time but with this ultimate goal of building the nest around me.

This is a different type of choreographic endeavour in that it will last for six hours but most of the viewers will only observe snapshots of the event, perhaps they will return to see the progress but no-one will watch for all six hours, so I take people on a different kind of journey, viewers will all have their own distinct experience. In that way, it becomes both very public and intensely personal at the same time and hints at the private performances of domestic action that we undergo on a daily basis – the feathering or shitting in our own nests.


Julia Harvie is a movement artist, born in Christchurch in 1981. She is a graduate of UNITEC, holding a Bachelor of Performing & Screen Arts with a Major in Contemporary Dance. Since graduating in 2003, Julia has carved out a career as an independent dancer and choreographer creating and working on a diverse range of projects. She returned to Christchurch in 2006 and became the Artistic Director of MAP (Movement Art Practice) in 2013.
She was awarded the Tup Lang Scholarship as the CNZ Emerging Choreographer of 2008. Her work has toured throughout New Zealand and has been presented in Taiwan and Australia. Julia was an intern with Magpie Music Dance in Amsterdam and was selected for the WDA Choreographer Project in Brisbane with Lloyd Newsom (DV8). She has been awarded Most Outstanding Performer of the NZ Fringe, Best Dance at the Dunedin Fringe and NZ Best Female Contemporary Dancer in 2008. Julia has worked for acclaimed artists such as, Michael Parmenter, Shona McCullagh, Kristian Larsen, Zoe Scofield, Riki von Falken, Pichet, Raewyn Hill, Malia Johnston, Oliver Driver, and Sarah Foster-Sproull.
Image by Stuart Lloyd-Harris.
Date: September 27, 2016