Simon Morris’s work has developed from a critical interest in painting practice that stretches from object-based paintings to site responsive wall drawing, installation, and architectural collaborations. The conceptual basis for his work comes from the history of abstraction and the relationship between abstraction and the everyday. A significant aspect of his work is the engagement of painting in time and space.
Working with the architectural qualities of Museums and galleries, referencing both form and function, complex wall drawings have become an increasingly important part of his practice. He has incorporated his interests of architecture and mathematics into a unique environmental painting approach, which combines a dramatic expansion of scale working within specific constraints of time.
The conceptual premise defining the drawings is that a set of instructions must be followed and repeated. Morris explores how a pre-determined action, once initiated, can determine the making of a painting within an architectural site and embrace the possibility of chance and surprise.
In this new work for Two Rooms, Coloured Line 2012, the idea is that the line works its way horizontally from left to right, right to left, left to right from the floor up the wall until there is no more time to continue painting. Each coloured segment is one meter long, and the paint is applied with a light fluid touch. “I’m interested in the way the pattern clarifies as more time is spent painting in space.”
Recent wall work projects include: Blue Water Colour, The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, Wellington, 2011; Reason and Rhyme, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, Australia and St Paul Street Gallery, Auckland, 2011; Black Water Colour, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin, 2010; Folding Water, Two Rooms, Auckland, 2009; Yo Modernism II, CCNOA, Brussels, Belgium, 2009; two site-based collaborations with Athfield Architects at The New Dowse, Wellington and at the University of Otago School of Medicine and Health Science, Wellington, 2007; Prospect 2007: New Art New Zealand, City Gallery Wellington, 2007; Simon Morris: Painting Projects 2000-2005, The Physics Room, Christchurch, 2005 and Sit Talk Look Write, Litmus Research project, Massey University, Wellington, 2005.