Made specifically for this exhibition, YSP’s Weston Gallery will be transformed by a dense selection of Morris’ vibrant, pigmented, sculptures alongside one of the artist’s ‘thread paintings’. The immersive installation reflects the experience and energy of her studio, where the immediacy of her drawn and stitched work is in conversation with sculptures in various stages of creation. The overall effect is one of a family of work in evolution, sharing features but each unique, much like The Family of Man by Barbara Hepworth, on long-term display at YSP and a source of admiration for Morris.
“My sculptures are about holding onto something that's fallen, and to express the hope and defiance of life. The vibrant pigment on the surface is a way of trying to freeze the moment when paint hasn’t yet dried, and is caught in its most raw form. They assemble to create abstract paintings that escalate upwards and express the fragility we all feel in our lives. There is not a day that goes by that I don't draw something, and this is the beginning of all my work.” Annie Morris
The London-based artist’s drawings and tapestry combine personal ciphers with mark-making and grid-like structures that sit between abstraction and figuration, creating a singular intimacy. Morris’ iconic sculptures – named The Stacks – are precariously balanced towers of pigmented lumpen spheres, that convey both instability and affirmation. Formed by hand in plaster and sand, then cast in bronze, the spherical forms are painted with hand-sourced, raw pigments in vivid hues such as Ultramarine, Viridian and Ochre – colour that is so bound in to the form that it seems to become the material of the sculpture. First made in reference to the artist’s first child who died before birth, these testimonies of grief and loss have become affirming symbols of life, hope and creativity. A monumental open-air bronze sculpture will be sited outside the gallery windows in relation to the landscape beyond.
Head of Curatorial Programme Helen Pheby says: “Annie Morris is an exceptional artist, whose immaculately-made sculptures are exquisite in form and colour but drawn from great emotional depth, which resonate with anybody who encounters them. Rooted in drawing and a love of pigment, the YSP exhibition will create an exceptional experience.”
YSP is very grateful to Annie Morris for creating an exclusive series of sculptures and a limited edition print available for sale with proceeds coming to the charity.
The Weston is open Tuesday-Sunday and Bank Holidays.