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Southern Roots

Updated: Nov 7, 2021


I just passed my one year since, unexpectedly, officially moving to Portland, Oregon. And in this immense year of transformation, healing, and shedding of old self, I have beautifully fallen back in love with my core roots of the place that shaped me.


This piece is bits of the Carolinas that I cherish. The magnolia, the focal point, is the bloom of the tree that sits on my grandparents’ beloved property at the foot of the Carolinas. As kids, we hoisted nursery buckets and ropes high up into the tree until it was a Shoots and Ladders game. Year after year, this tree was our hideout, our playground, our escape until the dinner-bell rang. The dogwood is my home-state flower that bloomed in front of my childhood home each Spring with it’s perfect hues of pink and peace. The Sabal palm, the South Carolina state tree, lines my grandparents' long dirt “driveway” to greet any visitor -- family or stranger alike. A symbol of oasis and home. The fern is simply a Carolina staple lining forests and wood grounds with new life and vibrant evergreen fronds. The resurrection fern, in particular, is symbolic in its own multitude of ways, often blanketing the grandiose limbs of moss covered-southern oaks I so dearly love. I wanted to keep adding elements to this piece of things or places that have shaped me, but it'll just have to be left for a second piece.


The creation of this piece was a form of therapy in many ways as I uncovered and forgave the instilled pain of my roots and history -- leaving the beauty of my roots to flourish. While I am currently placed in Portland, and wherever this life takes me, I can happily say that I will always be a front-porch, 4pm-coffee-sipping southern girl. And I am grateful for the place and people I will always call home.


What part of this piece resonates most with your roots?






Julia Alexis Hunkler


Click the images below to check out the signed prints I have!



12x18" Southern Roots Print 10x14" Vintage Botanical Illustration Print

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