New Zealand (1942-)
Born in Te Marua, Lower Hutt, in 1942, Christina Conrad grew up primarily in rural areas. Her birthname was Shoshanna Hayman, but has since been changed. Conrad is a filmmaker, sculptor, poet and performer. Often regarded as an ‘outsider’ artist due to her desire for isolated living and unique perspective on life. Conrad lived for twenty years without electricity or running water. Thus she painted only by daylight, keeping her work in the kitchen cupboards instead of food.
Christina Conrad is the estranged daughter of notable British artist Patrick Hayman. Conrad was unaware of who her father was and upon the discovery of his identity, Hayman became a central figure within her work. In a poem named ‘father’ she wrote of the estranged Hayman, ‘’father, you came too late, a mound of anger had grown, over heart’s divided chamber.’’ Conrad’s daughter, Miro Bilbrough, also went on to pursue an artistic career referencing Hayman in her memoir. ‘’It occurs to me that his painting, which often include poems or literary fragments, might have been gardens to him. Isometimes think of this when I am writing that I am making a garden to roam in.”
Conrad’s work is incredibly unique and textural. Overlapping many different mediums including filmmaking, poetry, sculpture and painting, each are brimming with spiritual importance. Her work portrays the desire to stray from normality and inability to define herself as one singular entity.
Since the late 1990’s Conrad has focused more heavily on the art of filmmaking. Despite exhibiting very little throughout her career, Conrad’s work can be found in galleries and museums in New Zealand, Australia, the United States and Europe.