Sculptures and prints
18th July – 30 September, 2009
Extended exhibition in the Foyer Octagon ArtSpace
Bungendore Wood Works Gallery has been selected for an exhibition of the compelling and incredibly complex constructional sculpture of Queensland artist John Morris. This will be the most extensive exhibition of his work held in Australia with a combination of solid stand-alone sculptures, collaged wall works and giclee prints from his original imagery.
Such is his reputation on the world sculptural stage, that demands on his work by collectors and institutions leaves little opportunity for the accumulation of exhibition pieces.
John Morris is a rule-breaker and displays a unique and artistically brave vision, combined with exceptional technique that verges on a fanaticism towards anatomy, be it of animal or a human nature, and particularly with the female form.
John Morris’ is well known in the advertising and design industries but he refused to succumb to the computer that at first crept into and then rushed his vocation. His preference for the pencil over the keyboard and mouse led to his abandonment of his industry and he turned to sculpture.
The early animal pieces show a sympathy born from intense study of not only the anatomy, but also the presence, body language and personality of the animal depicted. His Dog is stretched to the limit of energy through its muscular structure, while Cat is taut and constrained by its lithe and stealthy demeanour. His human female forms are both simultaneously sensual and repulsive depending on your emotional response.
His works spring from exhaustive sketching and illustration, drawing on intensive research, be it of skeletal bone and muscular structure and/or the imagery of fashion magazines and photography.
Having always worked in 3D he chose wood as the material most suited to his needs, using small pieces to construct the many parts of the whole. He began by sculpting in details like buckles and straps and then turned to the real thing utilising commercial hardware pieces, found small machine parts and ship chandlers supplies, all adding to a fascinating subversion of the perfect figure.
Prosthetic limbs and super-accentuated body part proportions tie the pieces together, bringing to mind the surreal imagery of filmic anime and the comic strip depictions of superheroes and heroines. He skilfully uses leather, brass, and stainless steel to provide stark contrasts with the warm texture of the wood.
His sculpture swings from the figurative and medium sized stand-alone to large wall pieces and he also traces a path back to his graphic design roots producing collages and prints.
His works on the female form are unashamedly erotic with elements of the work meant to both titillate and repel in the same viewing, leaving no room for fence sitting - like it or lump it.
Regardless of the viewer’s reaction and perception, the transformation of his graceful and intricate imagery into his solid finished sculptures, collages and prints is a remarkable feat of craftsmanship.
John Morris – sculptures and prints, opened on Saturday 18th July at 5.30pm and the exhibition continues until the end of September in the Gallery’s foyer octagon Artspace.