Artist Profile

Julia Morison

Born 1952

Born in the Taranaki region, Julia Morison currently lectures in painting at Ilam School of Fine Arts at The University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Her academic training has the benefit of diversity, in that Morison studied Design at Wellington Polytechnic before going on to Postgraduate studies in Fine art at the University of Canterbury in the mid 70's, for which she was accredited honours. Following this became she became the recipient of three major awards: The Frances Hodgkin's Fellowship, The Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council Grant and The Moët & Chandon Fellowship which enabled her to live in France between 1990 -98.

In her paintings, Morison creates for the viewer alternative spaces, wonderlands of other worlds. Philosophical undertones are alluded to through iconic symbolism using a mixture of references including Greek logos and the Jewish kabbala (mystical interpretation of the Old Testament). The paradoxical nature of the works is their ability to be simultaneously loaded with meaning, drawing the viewer into a vacuous space outside of mundane reality, while at the same time Morison loads the right of the picture with bodily references; such as eyes and skeletons. Her works have been referred to as "inventive, various and in your face" , certainly they reach beyond ornamental. Compositionally the artist maps out the architectural series using the means of the "Golden Triangle" leading the viewer's eye across the picture plain into a nether land.

A highly esteemed artist, Morison is held so for her obsessional craftsmanship and academic referencing. Julia Morison's works are held in collections throughout New Zealand: Auckland Art Gallery, Hocken Library, James Wallace Collection, McDougall and Te Papa.

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