Born in 1942, Conrad, the obsessive "outsider" painter/sculptor, filmmaker, poet/writer, lived as a recluse for twenty years without electricity or running water, keeping her paintings in cupboards instead of food. Her work is disarmingly original and not easily pigeon-holed, nor does the term "outsider" sit easily with her, suggesting as it does someone who is untrained. Conrad's paintings and clay sculptures possess a focus that reflects a rigorous self-training. When asked how she herself characterises her work, she laughs: "the spillings of the unconscious!"
Since the late 1990s, Conrad's interest and attention has turned more and more to the medium of dramatic writing and film-making in particular. She has directed three films, including JELLY'S PLACENTA, and the feature documentary, HERETIC (co-directed with Agnieszka Baginska) which she also wrote and designed.
Conrad's poems, monologues and "two-handers" have appeared in numerous print journals, magazines, and newspapers around the world. The poet, Billy Marshall Stoneking, has described the experience of listening to Conrad speaking her poetry as "tribal, unearthing some deep, instinctual understanding that has been buried in the unconscious. She is bardic."
Conrad's paintings, clay icons and artistic theories have been the subject of three documentary films, and her paintings and other works shown by major galleries and museums in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.
She is the daughter of the English painter, Patrick Hayman. Conrad currently lives and works in Sydney.
you and your claustrophobia
to drop in my lap
you never thought
I could have changed
from a wooden martyr
in a bath of your blood
your moon is not in the same place as mine
the river flows fast
over smooth rock
where you lie
that red fish you catch with your hands
gapes from a bowl of rock
I never saw the snakes
that glide round you
your letter comes from a summer far away
you cannot feel the winter
that has come down on me
- Christina Conrad
Exhibitions at Pierre Peeters Gallery