Annie Morris: Diaries
Timothy Taylor is pleased to present an online exhibition of works on paper and a new bronze sculpture edition by London-based artist Annie Morris. Morris created this body of work during a period of prolonged isolation with her family during the coronavirus pandemic, where the artist began to translate the symbols and marks that re-occur in her work into rhythmic, narrative drawings. In this series, Morris meditates on the freedom and limitations of the diary as a medium for self-expression, encapsulating each work with the gestural freedom of automatic drawing and the subconscious.
While isolated in the English countryside and distanced from her studio, Morris began using the materials she had on hand: small oil sticks, watercolors and crayons. The drawings are made on eight-page concertina books, historically used to allow artists to travel and make larger drawings when needed. The lateral composition lends the drawings a narrative, story-like quality, offering the viewer a window the artist’s state of mind over the course of the pandemic. As the artist says, ‘Being limited to these books that I could open up and draw, it became a form of diary for me, an outlet for the anxiety and stress of the moment.’
Motifs and symbols that reappear throughout Morris’s works manifest themselves here in vivid jewel tones: the body of a reclining woman, face masked by a flower in bloom; a three-pronged tree, which Morris relates to the shape of a half-clenched fist; curving ladders and grids intersect with egg-like forms that recall Morris’s sculpture practice.
The latest edition of bronze ‘Stack’ sculptures was crafted in a uniquely small size for the current exhibition. Reflective shades of ultramarine, violet, cypress green and burnt sienna coat towering stacks of misshapen orbs, exemplifying the vibrant coloration and gravity-defying structure that characterizes works from this series. Begun in the context of Morris’s experiences with miscarriage, the sculptures embody the swell of pregnancy even as they comprise a reflection on the fragility and pain of lost motherhood.
‘Being limited to these books that I could open up and draw, it became a kind of diary for me, an outlet for the anxiety and stress of the moment.’ – Annie Morris, 2020
Watercolour, crayon, pencil, oil stick and pastel
9 1/8 × 48 7/8 in. / 23.3 × 124 cm
‘In some ways it was freeing to have limitations on what I could work with. I had always wanted to see how it would feel if I worked on paper with the oil sticks, watercolours and crayons that I had, and it sparked my imagination.’ – Annie Morris, 2020
‘The woman’s head transformed into a flower – you think of a flower as this beautiful thing, but it’s perishable. They have this moment of beauty, and then they wither. It relates to feelings of insecurity, of mortality.’ – Annie Morris, 2020
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