Jean and Nicolas Jullien collaborate in an exploration of their childhood in new book, Les Sources

The creative brothers used their individual disciplines to create an exhibition in February, which they’re now exploring further in the publication by Kiblind Editions.

22 July 2020

Brothers Jean and Nicolas Jullien are both well known and well respected in their respective fields of creativity, so it's fascinating to delve into their influential formative years where their creativity first began. Invited by Slika Gallery to create an exhibition (in February 2020) exploring their childhood, the pair applied their individual talents in illustration and painting, sculpture and musical composition to create a series of new works in collaboration and response to each other, and their memories growing up, titled Les Sources. Now the show has been documented and investigated further in a new book of the same name.

Les Sources is the name of the Jullien family home, the book explains, their maternal grandparents’ house outside Cholet, France, a place “full of good memories,” Nico says in the book. Jean continues: “When we were kids, there was an almost manor-like feel to the house. When you’re little, the ladders are completely elongated and deformed and for us it was a gigantic castle! That’s something we both love, that distorted look: you let yourself be influenced by your memories that are out of proportion, far from reality.”

The book, Jean adds, is “a blend of distant memories and everyday moments. But it's not an homage to nostalgia either. It's our modern life, our way of living today.” It features everything from old family photos to sketches and images of works in progress, and fully realised paintings and sculptures, all intrinsically linked. We can see this, for example, in Jean’s sketches of Nico working on a wood carving, or his painted version of an old family snapshot taken at the house. The works were created by the Jullien brothers over a series of months in creative dialogue, using their own artistic mediums to interpret their shared childhood.

The book is available to buy via Kiblind Editions shop.

Meanwhile, Jean has recently created a series of four giant graphic sculptures for arts festival Le Voyage à Nantes, each of which interact with their surrounding landscapes. One shows a character lying in a pond apparently spitting the fountain water; another is dragging its rake-like hand across the grass, leaving a trail in its wake. Another sees a group of 2D characters hugging a tree trunks. The festival is open 8 August – 27 September 2020.

GalleryKiblind Editions/Slika Gallery: Les Sources with Jean and Nicolas Jullien

GalleryJean Jullien for Le Voyage à Nantes. Photos by Jean-Félix Fayolles.


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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

After five years as It’s Nice That’s news editor, Jenny became online editor in June 2021, overseeing the website’s daily editorial output.

Jenny is currently on maternity leave.

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