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JULIA MORISON
HEADCASE, 12 SEPTEMBER- 4 OCTOBER 2014

Bartley Company Art is proud to be exhibiting the work of the highly acclaimed senior artist Julia Morison. For her first show in the gallery, Julia has produced a distinctive new body of work. These richly detailed yet ambiguous glazed stoneware works are the first to be released from a series that she is currently making under the title {Headcase}. The objects have in common a simplified androgynous head form moulded in stoneware. Each is then distinguished with the addition of porcelain accessories, which accentuate the sensory functions attached to the various orifices of the head.

The {Headcase} project continues Morison's interrogation of three-dimensional form and the meaning and impact art generates for the body and psyche. With all the connotations of the word headcase foregrounded, the works are a surrealist and psychological exploration of the play between the familiar and unfamiliar, fantasy and nightmare, the benign and the malignant. The viewer is called to invent a narrative to accommodate these indeterminate creations/creatures.

Julia Morison's wide-ranging practice encompasses a diversity of approaches and media consistently underpinned by a complex symbolism. She has exhibited extensively throughout New Zealand and internationally and has been the recipient of many significant awards, grants and residencies including the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship in 1988 and the Moet & Chandon Fellowship in 1990. Returning to Christchurch in 2000 after a decade living in France, she worked as a Senior Lecturer in painting at the University of Canterbury for eight years. In 2005 Julia was made a New Zealand Arts Foundation Laureate and in 2006, the Christchurch and Dunedin public art galleries curated a major survey exhibition. In 2012, she was inducted into the Massey University Hall of Fame and in 2013 produced a major new permanent public art work for Christchurch.




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