I was invited to exhibit in a multicultural group exhibition at the Linwood Arts & Eastside Gallery, Christchurch, in February 2021. The theme of the show was “Pan”, meaning all-inclusive, uniting, or collective. The root of the word (“pan”) is found in many forms (e.g. a cooking container, severe criticism, a Greek god), and “pan-pan”, the exhibition title, is an international distress signal, of less urgency than a mayday signal. However, artists were free to interpret “pan” in any way or medium.

My four works were from my storm-based 2020 series “Pandemonium” – numbers 1, 2, 4 and 7.

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During the period of nation-wide lock-down in New Zealand (March-April 2020) due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Aigantighe Art Gallery invited the South Canterbury community to submit self-portraits as a snapshot of the unprecedented times. These could be conventional painted or drawn works, or “selfies” taken on a phone camera. The works could be emailed or posted on the gallery’s Facebook or Instagram pages, and were to be collated and exhibited in an exhibition when the gallery was able to re-open. The response from the community was amazing, and the results were eventually printed on large banners and displayed in the gallery’s Foyer space in late November 2020. My pen and ink Self Portrait In Lockdown was also featured on the large advertising banner for the exhibition.

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(Photo by Roselyn Fauth)

I was again asked to be a guest artist for the Annual Exhibition of the South Canterbury Pottery Group, held at the Aigantighe Art Gallery. It was a delight to exhibit with this group, and the aptly-named Top of the Pots became the first major exhibition for the gallery after lockdown forced its closure for several months. I was able to show several paintings from my new “Life-lines” series, including the study works as a set, as well as an earlier painting The Three Graces from my 2018-19 “Woman” series.

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I was selected for this prize by Drs Salvatore and Francesco Russo (Rome), awarded to "a small number of artists who have distinguished themselves in the current year". As part of this award, my painting Life-lines #8 was published in the July-August 2020 issue of "Art International Contemporary Magazine", and was screened in a video exhibition (with accompanying catalogue) at the Sciortino Museum in Monreale, Sicily, 12-18 September 2020, as part of The Norman Biennial of Contemporary Art.

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I was invited to submit a work (Giotto’s Circle 2019) inspired by the Italian Renaissance painter Giotto di Bondone, for a competition commemorating Giotto’s “perfect circle”. This competition was associated with the Giotto International Prize which I received in November 2019. For this award I submitted my painting Cut #29 - the penultimate painting in my “Woman” 2019 series, and which comprises 6 canvases in the form of a large cross.

Both works were published in Art International Contemporary, Issue #6, November-December 2019.

Giotto’s Circle 2019 is an addition to my “Recycled” series, using brick dust from Venice with marker pen enhancing the “perfect circles” indented on the base of a soft-drink packaging box.

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Giotto's Circle, 2019,
Venetian brick debris,
marker pen, recycled packaging,
34cm (H) x 41cm (W)

  049 Cordeaux Giotto International Prize 2019

I was asked to be one of two guest artists, with two guest potters, whose works complemented the annual exhibition of the South Canterbury Pottery Group. I chose five works from my Recycled series, inspired by my April arts residency in Venice: Recycled # 17, 18, 22, 23 and 24. Two of these works incorporated brick debris from Venetian buildings, which seemed appropriate for an exhibition featuring ceramics.

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I was delighted to be selected as one of 79 finalists from about 500 entries in this year’s prestigious Parkin Drawing Prize. The successful work was Recycled #21, from my series inspired by the arts residency in Venice during April 2019.

Founded by arts patron, businessman and philanthropist Chris Parkin, the national drawing prize is now into its seventh year and has grown into a well-recognised competition not to be missed in the New Zealand arts scene. The selected works were exhibited at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington, 6 August–8 September 2019.

 “Over the years I’ve learned that, at least within the artistic community, the sort of whole boundary of what we would term drawing is actually much wider than I would have probably originally thought. It’s what makes this award so unique. Every year I see innovation and difference, and every year there's something new. I truly am excited to see what we have in store for 2019,” said Chris Parkin.


I was happy to receive this award and to have my painting Cut #18 (“Woman” series 2019) published in Art International Contemporary, Issue #4, July/August 2019 and in the catalogue for the exhibition.

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I was selected for this international prize by Salvatore and Francesco Russo (Rome), awarded to "a small number of artists who have distinguished themselves in the current year". The award included publication of my painting Cut #17 (“Woman” series 2019) in Art International Contemporary, Issue #3, May/June 2019, and the catalogue for the award.057_Cordeaux_Artist-of-the-Year-2019-.jpg

I was accepted as one of 10 artists from Canada, France, New Zealand and the USA to take part in a month-long residency in Venice. Organised by Art& Soul International, it was a fantastic opportunity to absorb the art, architecture and ambience of this wonderful city, and to create art inspired by the experience. Included in the residency was a 3 week group exhibition, Giallo [Yellow], at Imagina Gallery and Café. The two works I exhibited were Cut #1 and Cut #2 from my “Woman” series, the first of which featured on Imagina’s website advertising the exhibition.

I was based in Castello, a down-to-earth residential area near the Arsenale and the various sites of the Venice Biennale exhibitions. Having visited Venice a couple of times previously, it was great to experience life as a local, rather than a short-term tourist.  Local shop-keepers and residents alike were friendly and welcoming, and I felt part of a warm community. 

The guided excursions, led by artist John Rawlings of Art&Soul International, took us all over Venice, on foot or by vaporetto.  With time to look further afield than the splendours of St Mark's Square and the Doge's Palace, I grew to appreciate the ingenuity and love by which Venetians continue to keep their crumbling but magical city afloat.  Everything is patched up a million times over, but somehow this adds to the beauty of this old lady, Venice. Even the graffiti - which many see as a scourge - seem to be added with love, on the whole. In fact, some of it - hearts and kisses, and comments such as "Buon giorno, bell'anima" (good morning, beautiful soul) - inspired me to create a range of small paintings using found materials. These were preparatory works for a series of larger paintings entitled “Recycled”, created on my return to New Zealand.


On 7 December 2018, I was awarded the Caravaggio Prize in Milan. This included the publication of two paintings (Cut # 6 and Cut #7, Woman series 2018) in Art International Contemporary magazine, Nov-Dec 2018.

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I was delighted to be included in the 2018 edition of The Best Modern and Contemporary Artists, curated by Salvatore and Francesco Saverio Russo (EA Editore, Palermo)


I was pleased to be included in the print and online Artists’ Directory listings for August/September 2018 (issue 84), featuring four works from my Woman series 2018

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In July 2018 I was one of a number of international artists selected for inclusion in the July/August issue of Art International Contemporary magazine, edited by Salvatore Russo, and was awarded the International Prize Giulio Cesare. This was presented at Palazzo Velli, Rome, on 7 July 2018. My painting The Three Graces (from Woman series 2018) was included in the magazine and in the catalogue accompanying the award presentation.


In June 2018 I was invited by curator Stefania Carrozzini to participate with 7 other international artists in another exhibition at Onishi Project, New York City (14-27 June 2018). Dealing with the Gaze offered the opportunity to consider “the gaze” not only for what it represents in an art work, but – like a mirror – for what it also reflects of the viewer and their opinions and attitudes. Carrozzini commented that “this compilation of works forces us to think of ‘the eye’ as something that writes and describes and that meets, speaks and reflects all worlds, exploring the poetic depth of the self and touching on the territory of the invisible.”

A review in “America Oggi” (New York) noted, “The gaze of Judith Cordeaux, a New Zealand artist, who is showing for the second time in New York, rests on the archaic prehistoric forms of femininity associated with fertility, wondering what the difference is between a feminine gaze and a masculine gaze.”

The paintings selected for this exhibition were Get Over It and The Three Graces, from my Woman series, 2018.


The first work from my new Woman series to be exhibited was Mama Mortality Corridos 2018, in the Landfall Exhibition held at the Otago Art Society in Dunedin (25 May – 17 June 2018). The OAS joined forces with Otago University Press, to help celebrate the digitization of the first 20 years (1947-68) of issues of Landfall, and to celebrate the connections between the artistic and literary worlds fostered by New Zealand’s pre-eminent literary and art journal. Artists were provided with an issue of the journal (from anywhere in the back catalogue) and invited to find inspiration from within it, creating an artwork in response in a medium of their choice. As with all the submissions, my painting was displayed with a statement discussing the inspiration for the work:


The name of a collection of poems, Mama Mortality Corridos by Lisa Samuels – advertised by The Holloway Press in Landfall 221 (pg.196) - caught my eye. A search on Google found several reviews and excerpts which gave some clue to the contents. However, it was the title of the book that sparked my imagination.

The Corrido is a popular narrative song or poem. Themes often deal with oppression and injustice. Many have an historical setting. Samuel’s inclusion of the words “Mama” and “Mortality” suggested a story of women, their lives and ultimate demise.

I am intrigued by the tiny, but powerful, figurines of women found on prehistoric sites throughout Europe and Eurasia. They are 11,000 to 35,000 years old. The first of these was discovered in 1864 and described as a Venus Impudica ("immodest Venus"). The collective name “Venus figurines” has stuck. Many archaeologists believe they were used in fertility rites. Other Western theories suggest they could be erotic art or sex aids, or even self-portraits by female artists.

Whatever the original intention, most share a common style: roughly lozenge-shaped and tapering at top and bottom. While the breast, abdomen, buttocks and vulva are often (but not always) exaggerated, the head is usually small or non-existent. Hands and feet are often missing.

For thousands of years, the role of woman was narrowly viewed as being centred on her sexual attraction and her fertility. Her abilities were mostly confined to producing children and caring for a household. Her intellect was not valued – or considered to exist. Her ability to travel independently was restricted by her role as a mother and household caretaker. Her creative abilities were largely concentrated on the domestic arts. She lived, she reproduced and she died, unknown and unrecognised. Sadly, for many women today, not much has changed.


I was delighted to be selected as a finalist in this year’s Zonta Ashburton Female Art Award (3–31 March 2018), with my work Night and Day 2017 (Unexpected World series). This annual award exhibition presented by The Zonta Club of Ashburton in partnership with the Ashburton Art Gallery showcases the works of emerging and mid-career female artists based in Canterbury. Zonta International strives to empower women worldwide by improving the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women at global and local levels through service and advocacy. This exhibition reflects Zonta’s vision by recognising the artistic accomplishments of women who are actively contributing to and shaping our art scene and creating a bold and diverse future for the arts in Canterbury.

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