Born in London in 1958, Julie Held studied art at the Camberwell School of Art, 1977-81. She won the Picker Fellowship at Kingston Polytechnic where she had her first solo show in 1982, followed by a post graduate course and diploma at the Royal Academy Schools, 1982-1985. She won the Royal Overseas League's first prize in 1984 and was also awarded by them the Lucy Morrison Prize two years later. Held is probably better known abroad than in her native England. She had solo exhibitions in Germany (Leipzig and Hamburg) and in Prague at the Kafka Gallery in 1998. In both countries she received high critical acclaim. Although she has been associated mostly with her Jewish heritage and its painful experiences, casting shadows on the past, her recent output with its rich palette proves that celebrating the joys of life is just as important to her.