Seriously fanciful, robustly playful, viscerally coy (or coyly visceral) – these phrases may seem to be oxymorons, yet existing rules don’t comfortably apply to the work of esteemed New Zealand artist Julia Morison.
Julia has a stellar career spanning more than three decades and her work is renowned for its capacity to push formal and conceptual boundaries and to challenge conventions or dominant trends.
Born in Pahiatua in 1952, Julia Morison lives and works in Christchurch. She began her studies at the illustrious Wellington Polytechnic School of Design, completing a Diploma in Graphic Design in 1972, and then an Honours degree in Fine Art from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts in 1975. She has exhibited extensively throughout New Zealand and internationally.
She was awarded the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship in 1988 and undertook the Moët & Chandon contemporary art residency in Avize, France in 1990. Julia continued to live and work in France until her return to Christchurch in 1999 to lecture in painting at the University of Canterbury, a position she held until 2007. Her major survey exhibition 2006-07 A loop around a loop: Julia Morison was jointly organised by the Christchurch City Gallery and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.
Julia was made a New Zealand Foundation Art Laureate in 2005.