Julia Morison
Gargantua’s Petticoat

12 July - 11 August 2007

Two Rooms is pleased to present Julia Morison’s Gargantua’s Petticoat, from the survey show a loop around a loop; first exhibited at Christchurch City Art Gallery and then Dunedin Public Art Gallery. This is the first time this work has been shown in Auckland and Julia will be present, working at the Two Rooms onsite studio as the next artist in resident for the duration of her exhibition through to the end of August.

Julia Morison is one of New Zealand’s most inventive artists. Over three decades using a complex symbolic system, she has developed a rich artistic vocabulary inspired by sources such as Hermeticism, the Kabbalah, alchemy and memory systems.

In Gargantua’s Petticoat, she creates large intricate multi paneled paintings. A mass of intertwining ribbons metamorphoses gloriously into sumptuous petticoats. Another graceful twirl of the thread produces an old-fashioned hooped skirt silhouetting an hourglass figure. InRoCoco the threads have regrouped and offer a playful reference to the Gordon Walters’s Koru paintings.

From the award winning book Julia Morison: a loop around a loop, the exhibition co-curator Justin Paton describes these works as:

“…Part fashion parade, part war dance, part architectural frieze, this 104-part painting is vividly, almost dauntingly, alive. In the density of its patterns, its whirling-dervish energy, and above all its sheer width, this is an artwork that insists you move to take it all in. Doing so, you may feel its many loops and tendrils are taking hold of you.

“Grown from pencil sketches into digital drawings, then from computer-cut vinyl stencils into fully worked paintings, Gargantua’s Petticoat is a work that reaches effortlessly from the virtual to the visceral. Morison regards the computer as just one of the many drawing tools she uses daily in the studio, but the new technology has helped her to arrive at this work’s distinctive look – highly linear, often symmetrical, and mesmerisingly ornate…”

Julia Morison lives and works in Christchurch and has exhibited extensively in public and private galleries throughout New Zealand and internationally. She has received several grants from the New Zealand Arts Council and in 2005 Julia was made an Art Laureate. In 1988 Morison was awarded the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship and in 1990, she undertook a Moet & Chandon contemporary art residency in Avize, France, and continued to live and work in France until her return to Christchurch in 1999. Recently, Julia Morison: a loop around a loop – the catalogue produced for the show of the same name, won two categories, including being named joint overall winner for Best Publication at the Museums Australia awards.