Artist Simon Morris has a long engagement with the history, problems and ongoing possibilities of abstraction. The primary focus of his work is the examination of visual systems, their proliferation and rupture in space and time. This is explored through conceptual abstract painting involving the investigation of geometric forms in painting, site responsive wall drawing and architectural collaboration. Morris’s emphasis is on formal and physical qualities – proportion, scale, shape, line, colour, and texture, an engagement with space and time, and use of the canvas as site.
Water Colour Paintings reveal tonal progressions of light. The sequential relationship of the schematic pattern of verticals, the restrained monochromatic range, the visual tension between repetition and variation and the materiality of the canvas create a level of optical vibrancy. The subtle differences in intensity, the delicate nuances of diluted pigment combined with Morris’s carefully calculated restrictions creates work that is evocative, poetic, and contemplative with the humility of the handmade.
These paintings continue to explore my interests in abstraction and the possibilities that surface from self-imposed restraints on structure, materials and process. In these works water is added to colour in a progression of twenty deliberate brush strokes across the canvas gradually reducing pigment to clear water. These paintings are made in a single session, focusing time and allowing edges to bleed and exchange tone where brushstrokes meet. They record the physicality of painting; the height of the work reflects my ‘reach’ while the thickness of line reflects the brush. There is a particular sense to every brushstroke in its control of weight, speed and the release of pigment.
Simon Morris 2013