Julia Morison, artist

Julia Morison at Lean Means

Pipe Dreaming is a group of cardboard carpet cores suspended in a triangular form. They function as pavilion and/or folly and/or sculpture and at night they become a three-dimensional cinematic screen for a choreographed sequence of projections derived from experiments re-using and re-thinking waste materials. The process is thus the content, folded-in or convoluted with the final pavilion/artwork.


Julia Morison’s ongoing practice — incorporating painting, sculpture, photography and installation — is consistently underpinned by a complex symbolic system. Her vocabulary is inspired by esoteric and spiritual sources such as Hermeticism, the Kabbalah, alchemy and memory systems. Morison’s work has come to represent her own intellectual order through an interweaving of symbol, material and philosophy; re-interpreting or reviewing for a contemporary context. Morison’s work invites us to reflect on the ways structures manipulate the way we see things, with her interpretations offering a metaphor for other such systems and encouraging us to consider systems themselves.

Julia Morison has exhibited extensively within New Zealand and internationally for over three decades. She has been the recipient of many key awards, grants and residencies. In 1988 she was awarded the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship and in 1990 she undertook the Möet and Chandon contemporary art residency in Avize, France, which subsequently became her home for the next ten years. In 1999 Morison returned to Christchurch and was appointed Senior Lecturer in painting at the University of Canterbury. In 2005 Morison received a New Zealand Arts Foundation Laureate Award and in 2012 she was inducted into the Massey University Hall of Fame. Her major survey exhibition Julia Morison: a loop around a loop was accompanied by a substantial monograph produced by the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu and Dunedin Public Art Gallery in 2006.

Date: September 27, 2016