Julie Henson‘s drawings explore the breadth of religious extremism in the Southern United States. The Charleston, South Carolina native examines historically significant religious rituals and the ways in which the modern South maintains these practices. The work often depicts subjects united in spiritual ecstasy, while undergoing the transcendent religious acts of holding snakes, placing one’s hands in fire, speaking in tongues and the laying of hands for miraculous healing. As a Southerner, the artist tracks both religious and historical traditions that merge to construct a long history, which is full of dark secrets and strong bonds.
Henson is a graduate of the School of the Arts at the College of Charleston and is an MFA candidate at the California College of the Arts. Her work will be featured in the upcoming issue of Beautiful/Decay Magazine. She has exhibited throughout the Southeast, including several shows with Redux Contemporary Art Center.