Judy Millar

Judy Millar in the studio


Year of Residency: 2006

Our inaugural resident, Judy Millar resided at the new purpose built residency and studio at 69 Otitori Bay Road during summer from December 2006 until February 2007.

“When thinking about this new work painted at McCahon House in French Bay I’m inclined to simply say that I’ve come up with a couple of pretty good new tricks. While painting must of course be more than tricks, working in this studio I’ve found new and very direct ways to work with paint; putting paint on and scraping it off with surprisingly entertaining results.

“Continuing to explore possibilities left in the action painting tradition this show will go further in using gesture not as personal expression but as a basis for social exchange.” Judy Millar, Jan 2007

While Judy Millar was in residency at the McCahon House in Titirangi, her works were laid out on the floor of the studio like a kaleidoscope of rugs churning with bright colour. Huge bowls of paint, rags and overlarge handmade squeegees jostled for space. Millar, who spent half the year in urban Berlin and the other half on a windy clifftop above White’s Beach on the West Coast, found the quiet and the birdsong of French Bay a welcome change. 

At the conclusion of her residency an exhibition Keeping You You and Keeping Me Me (16 Feb – 8 April 2007) was held at Lopdell House Gallery, Titirangi. A catalogue and poster were published to accompany the exhibition.

Artist statement

"My time in Titirangi ... forced me to confront my practice as a whole in a completely new way and to set my aspirations for what my work might achieve on a completely different level … McCahon’s presence at the house is … palpable and a constant reminder of the courage he had as a painter in a pioneer society.”  Judy Millar, Sept 2008

In addition to the large paintings she created on the floor of the new studio, Judy produced 12 individual works on paper created as single movements in orange and black paint. All works sold quickly. One was retained for the McCahon House Residency Collection.


Since the Residency

Following her residency Judy was selected as one of two exhibiting artists at the Venice Biennale. The Venice Biennale is a major contemporary art exhibition which takes place every two years in Venice, Italy. The first was held in 1895 and the 53rd held in 2007. This was the first time a New Zealander had been invited to exhibit in this context and affirmed Judy's international reputation.


Millar was invited a second time to exhibit at the Venice Biennale in 2011 and created new work for the exhibition Personal Structures: Time, Space, Existence a collateral event of the Biennale.

Visit Gow Langsford website to see Judy's work for the Biennale

Judy continues to attract international attention and is represented by dealers across the world, in Auckland she is represented by Gow Langsford Gallery.


Articles and Reviews

Redefining Limits: A Conversation with Judy Millar, De Jongh, K., Gold, S., and Romagnini, V.Sculpture Magazine Sept 2011 Vol.30 No. 7


Judy Millar: You You, Me Me Byrt, A. Emmerling, L. Kerber Art, Germany 2009

Judy Millar

Represented by:
Gow Langsford Gallery

Artist's website:


Exhibition at Te Uru

Judy Millar: The Model World 

The Model World is an extension of our new publication SWELL, a pop up book for children based on Millar’s work and produced by a team of three very different creative people: Judy Millar herself created original work for the book; Trish Gribben wrote a magical poem and paper engineer Phillip Fickling constructed the amazing 3D pop-ups.


The Art of Judy Millar

SWELL is a pop-up book that is a unique collaboration between artist Judy Millar, writer Trish Gribben and paper engineer Phillip Fickling. It will be the perfect gift for young (and not-so-young) readers - in fact, the book is actually an artwork and is likely to be the first artwork a child may own.

Published by Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, 2014.


In Conversation with Judy Millar - Video