Julia Morison

Omnium Gatherum 59
1000 x 700 x 40 mm
acrylic and gold leaf on PVC board and timber frame
Courtesy of the artist and Sumer, Tauranga

Estimate: NZD 14,000 — 18,000

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Omnium Gatherum in its general meaning is a collection or assortment of miscellaneous things. It is also the title of an ongoing series of paintings by Julia Morison that began six years ago, of which Omnium Gatherum 059 is a part of, furthering her decades-long investigation into symbolic visual language.

Painted with acrylic, oil and gold leaf, Omnium Gatherum 059 uses organic and elemental forms to break the precision of traditional and ancient patterns. Guided by the mystical geometry of the Jewish Kabbalistic concept of the ten Sephirot, Omnium Gatherum 059 continues Morison’s keen interest in alternative knowledge systems. Referencing Kabbalah and alchemy, Morison tests the potency of the symbolic and the potential of geometry as a method of systematizing form and content.

Artist Biography & History
with Artspace Aotearoa:


Mediatrix: New work by seven women artists (group), 17 August — 17 September 1993, subsequently toured to The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Ngāmotu New Plymouth

Decan: A work in 10 parts (solo), 1990, previously exhibited at CSA Gallery, Ōtautahi Christchurch and Hocken Library, Ōtepoti Dunedin

In the Forest of Dream (included Exchange #1 and Exchange #2) (group), 1990, also exhibited at The Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Ōtepoti Dunedin and Suter Gallery, Whakatū Nelson

Exhibits: The Museum Display and the Encyclopaedia Plate (group), 6 September — 28 October 1988, curated by Robert Leonard and Priscilla Pitts and produced in collaboration with the National Art Gallery, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington

Sex and Sign (group), 6 October — 6 November 1987, curated by Wystan Curnow and organised in collaboration with The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Ngāmotu New Plymouth. Sex and Sign subsequently toured to Manawatu Art Gallery, Hawkes Bay Art Gallery and Museum, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Robert McDougall Art Gallery, and Sarjeant Gallery.


Gloria Zelenka wrote on Morison’s work in Love philtres and melting moments, a text published in the catalogue produced to accompany Mediatrix: New Work by Seven Women Artists. This catalogue was published in 1993, and was edited by Priscilla Pitts, then Director of Artspace. Morison also featured in the catalogues produced to accompany the exhibitions Exhibits: The Museum Display and the Encyclopedia Plate and Sex and Sign.

Julia Morison


Julia Morison (ONZM) has a prestigious career spanning four decades. She has built a significant body of work across a wide range of media, including painting, photography, sculpture and installation. At the heart of her practice is an interest in investigating, reimagining and recoding a range of existing systems of ordering. She has previously drawn inspiration from the Jewish Kabbalah, number symbolism, Hermeticism and surrealism.

Julia Morison (b. 1952, Pahiatua, Aotearoa New Zealand) lives and works in Ōtautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and been awarded numerous grants and awards, including the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship (1989), and the prestigious New Zealand Moët & Chandon Fellowship (1990), which allowed her to travel to France for a year’s residency. She made France her base for the next decade, returning to Aotearoa New Zealand to take up an appointment as senior lecturer of painting at the University of Canterbury (1999 – 2007). She became a New Zealand Arts Foundation Laureate in 2005, and in 2018 she was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM). Julia Morison is represented by Sumer, Tauranga.