Born 1952 Pahiatua, New Zealand,
Lives and works in Christchurch, New Zealand
Julia Morison is a leading figure in New Zealand art. Over the past three decades she has built a significant body of works which draw on a range of esoteric knowledge systems, including the Jewish Kabbalah, number symbolism, Hermeticism and Surrealism. From these eclectic reference points, she devises methods of ordering and combining materials, images and symbols to recode their various connotations.
Morison studied at the Wellington Polytechnic, graduating in 1972 with a diploma in graphic design, and went on to gain an honours degree from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts in 1975. Since then, Morison has exhibited nationally and internationally and been awarded numerous grants and awards, including the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship in 1989, and the prestigious New Zealand Moët & Chandon Fellowship in 1990, which allowed her to travel to France for a year’s residency. She chose to make France her base for the following 10 years, returning to take up an appointment as senior lecturer of painting at the University of Canterbury (1999–2007). Morison became a New Zealand Arts Foundation Laureate in 2005. In 2018 she was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).