Julia Morison

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1952


  • 1998
  • Excrement and gold leaf
  • Purchased, 1998
  • 1481 x 1481mm
  • 98/61.1-2

Julia Morison’s work examines the ideal and base sides of humanity by exploring the sacred and profane associations of materials. The use of excrement symbolises the artistic process of digesting signs and symbols and channelling them through the artist’s own experience. Throughout her work Morison shows a deep interest in early religious belief systems, such as the Kabbalistic Sephiroth, combining them with contemporary issues. In putting together excrement and gold, her work also shows a commitment to Modernist, non-hierarchical principles.

Born in Pahiatua, Morison studied at the Wellington Polytechnic, then at the University of Canterbury, graduating in 1975. She has exhibited nationally since then and has been awarded numerous grants and fellowships. These include the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship (1988) and the prestigious New Zealand Moet et Chandon Fellowship (1990) which allowed her to travel to France to take up a year’s residency. Morison is currently Senior Lecturer in Painting at the University of Canterbury.

Listen to Gallery Director John Coley commenting on this work on Morning Report, 15 August 1990.

The interviewer is Karlum Lattimore. (Source: Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Reference: Id\6753 Morning Report 1990-08-15)

Exhibition History