Judy Darragh

Judy Darragh

Judy Darragh, artist

Judy Darragh’s multi-disciplined and multi-media works have transformed found, recycled, industrial, and domestic materials into new contexts and new meanings. In the process she has transported the imaginations of many New Zealanders and provided them with a new way of seeing.

She has made a significant contribution to the visual arts in New Zealand.

Born in Christchurch, she emerged as an artist in the 80s – an era of conspicuous consumption when sustainability and environmental awareness were in the consciousness of just a few.

Growing up she was surrounded by the ‘joy of making’ and from an early age she was drawing and making things from craft materials. In 1978 she graduated from Wellington Polytechnic with a diploma in Visual Communication and Design before going on to gain a Diploma in Teaching.

Judy returned to her art through selling domestic objects made from items collected from markets and second hand shops.  These first assemblages brought together the made and found objects into what she has described as ‘shrines’.

Judy is renowned for her brightly coloured sculptural assemblages of found objects, recycled items, industrial materials, collage, photography, video, and poster art.

Collecting is an integral part of her work as she investigates the relationship between objects and their surroundings.  She makes new from the old and provides objects with a fresh significance or value.  She has found the uneven line between high and low brow culture and arts and crafts. In a career that spans 30 years, Judy has gone on a continuous trajectory of creativity applying a fresh lens to a huge variety of mediums. She is widely exhibited in New Zealand and in 2004 the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa featured a major retrospective of her work.

More Art stories

Te Ara Toroa — Rere Ki Uta, Rere Ki Tai
The flight of the albatross — Venturing into the unknown
Design by Ngataiharuru Taepa, Kaihautu Toi Māori—Director of Māori Arts

Toi Rauwhārangi
College of Creative Arts
Wellington, Aotearoa