Drawing on a rich array of art historical and contemporary images, as well as personal narratives and philosophical ideas, Fixing Eyes With The Unseen invites us to explore our complex relationship to individual and collective pasts in a series of striking oil paintings that epitomise Morwenna Morrison’s mesmerising aesthetic.
Explaining her work as ‘an analysis of today’s social, psychological and political issues, set within historical context,’ Morrison fuses historical landscape painting with contemporary images and influences—from the haunting, ethereal photography of Francesca Woodman to Derek Jarman’s 1986 film, Caravaggio. Creating a multi-faceted, nostalgic and yet challenging interrogation of what it means to create our own histories and mythologies, Morrison’s latest works invite a deep introspection into the visual material of our lives, and the connected construction of our identities, underpinned by a radical questioning of what it means for some images and memories to resonate and persist, as opposed to others. What has been erased, or forgotten? What lurks beneath the surface of seemingly calm, romantic beauty and familiar mythologies; what is ‘unseen’?
Exploring, in particular, the notion of time itself as an ‘unseen’ but objective measure of a subjective temporality, or ‘lived time’ as she puts it, Morrison’s paintings use collage and layering to reveal, exquisitely, the ways in which we, as individuals and societies, construct and deconstruct the phenomena of life cycles, ageing, and even the specter of death, in order to anchor ourselves to the world, history, and each other.
- Christiana Spens