Julia Morison

In a career that has spanned more than three decades, Christchurch based artist Julia Morison continues to astound, pushing both formal and conceptual boundaries to their extremes. Her extensive practice encompasses a variety of media from painting and photography to sculpture and installation, with each medium selected and experimented to make manifest the ideas she is exploring. It is this attention devoted to materials coupled with a roving intellectual spirit which has taken her into some quite esoteric systems of knowledge that have included Hermeticism, the Kabbalah and alchemy and prompted commentators to codify her work as ambiguous and mystical. Morison develops systems from systems, building a visual and philosophical language and tailoring them to suit her artistic ends, and in doing so revealing both their richness and constructed nature. Following on from a Diploma in Graphic Design (1972) and an Honours degree in Fine Art from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts (1975), Morison received the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship in 1989 and the Moet & Chandon Fellowship in 1990 which enabled her to travel to France for a year’s residency subsequently becoming her home for the next ten years. In 1999 Morison was appointed Senior Lecturer in Painting at the University of Canterbury, and was named a New Zealand Arts Foundation Laureate in 2005.