Julia Morison’s rich and ambiguous practice has encompassed a diversity of approaches and materials in a career spanning three decades. Much of that time has been dedicated to laying the foundation for a complex symbolic system, including the development of an artistic vocabulary inspired by sources such as Hermeticism, the Kabbalah, alchemy and memory systems. Morison’s work represents her own intellectual order through an interweaving of symbol, material and philosophy. By reviewing and re-interpreting these sources for a contemporary context, she invites us to consider how artificial structures and systems can affect and manipulate the way we see and understand.

Born in Pahiatua in 1952, Morison lives and works in Christchurch. She has exhibited extensively in group and solo exhibitions in public and private galleries throughout New Zealand and overseas. She has received several grants from the New Zealand Arts Council and was awarded the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship in 1988. In 1990, she undertook a Mo√ęt & Chandon contemporary art residency in Avize, France, and continued to live and work in France until her return to Christchurch in 1999. Morison was a Senior Lecturer in Painting at the University of Canterbury’s School of Fine Arts for eight years and is now working full time in her own practice.

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