Born in Pahiatua in 1952, Julia Morison lives and works in Christchurch. She began her studies at the Wellington Polytechnic School of Design, completing a Diploma in Graphic Design in 1972, and then an Honours degree in Fine Art from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts in 1975.
She was awarded the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship in 1988 and undertook the Moët & Chandon contemporary art residency in Avize, France in 1990. Julia continued to live and work in France until her return to Christchurch in 1999 to lecture in painting at the University of Canterbury, a position she held until 2007. Her major survey exhibition 2006-07 A loop around a loop: Julia Morison was jointly organised by the Christchurch City Gallery and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.
In 2005 Julia was made a New Zealand Foundation Art Laureate, in 2012 she was inducted the Massey University College of Creative Arts Hall of Fame and most recently in 2018 has been appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the visual arts.
She has exhibited extensively throughout New Zealand and internationally, including being selected for the Sydney Biennale in 1992 and 2010. Her work is held in many New Zealand public gallery collections including the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
Julia’s work is wonderfully diverse across a variety of media including painting, photography, sculpture and installation. It has always eschewed easy categorization by chronology alone as there are multiple points of formal and symbolic return throughout her oeuvre. Under the auspices of Jonathan Smart Gallery, her stand at the 2018 Auckland Art Fair continues this fine tradition.