View Profile

Details

First Name

Mary

Last Name

Morrison

Username

marymorrison

Website

http://www.marymorrison.co.uk

Region

Scottish Borders

Disciplines

Painting

Themes

Abstract, Landscape, Geometric

Statement

Statement

I grew up in the Western Isles, and I am drawn to exploring the space and light which is particular to these islands.  I am led by the pursuit of ‘memory places’ and aim to evoke a sense of place through fluid paint effects which combine with graphic elements of annotation grids, staves, elements of maps and tide tables recur in my work.

Where works have titles referring to specific locations, the intention is to draw on personal connections to these places in order to explore wider themes.   My intention is not to depict a landscape in a literal sense but to explore in a more abstracted way the relationship between the individual and the landscape that has shaped them, something you carry with you – a ‘geography of the mind’.  My work suggests journeys, edges, tidal lines – always shifting.

I am continually inspired by relationships between the written word – poetry in particular – and image, and some paintings have titles responding to works by Kenneth White, and the Sufi poet, Rumi for example.  Iain Crichton Smith’s poem ‘Lewis’ goes some way to expressing the preoccupations in my work:

‘It follows me, that black island without ornament,

Which I am always questioning….

Sea, immortal waters, you are the harmony around us forever.

We exist in your music,

In your blizzard of white gulls….

 

Wherever I am, you are with me,

My music is the music of your stones,  

You are the book which I always study

In sunsets over the Minch,

You are my gaunt theme, my poem which burns in water.’

 

Going beyond the surface is important to me, and the intention is for the work to reveal itself slowly.


‘Morrison’s thoughtful, contemplative works really capture the essence of the Highlands and Islands landscape, influenced by Kenneth White’s Geopoetical theory.

Whilst the scenic qualities of the North are undeniable, there is something far more potent and enduring to be explored in White’s conception of “territory”. Morrison’s work engages with this idea … exploring “sense of place, light (and) abstract musical notation”.

… Morrison’s interest in artists such as Anish Kapoor, Agnes Martin and Shirazeh Houshiary, Eastern Art and philosophy are akin to her own brand of enlightened minimalism or abstraction.

There is fluidity and formality in her technique which is beautifully balanced and her response to the Highland landscape is refreshing and inspired. This work is not about surfaces but understanding…’
Georgina Coburn

Biography

Biography

Born 1967 and brought up on the Isle of Harris.

1985-1990 Edinburgh University & Edinburgh College of Art
Joint Degree MA (Hons) Fine Art 2:1

1989 Ecole Des Beaux Arts, Tours, France Student Exchange

Summer 1989 Student Intern – Jack Tilton Gallery, New York

1990-1991 Edinburgh College of Art
Post Graduate Diploma in Painting (Distinction)

I am based at WASPS Studios in St Mary’s Mill, Selkirk and work part time with the Arts Team at Live Borders, managing the Creative Arts Business Network (CABN).

I am one of the SSA’s Satellite Associates, representing the Scottish Borders.