NEIL MORRIS: MASTER PRINTMAKER: The Vitreum, Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School, to 15th December 2010.
Review © Gayna Rose Madder
The Vitreum Gallery’s own publicity for this large scale show of original prints by Neil Morris describes the artist as ‘Merseyside’s own Picasso’. Whether through modesty or individualism, Neil has distanced himself from this comparison.
Neil is Reader in Contemporary Printmaking at LJMU’s School of Art. Having taught and inspired several generations of students, he at last displays 25 years of his own innovative image making, using silk screen and other print techniques. He describes his work as featuring a ‘cast of characters’, using images derived from the processes themselves, which also include lithography. He explains that the timescale involved allows for images to be created gradually and creatively, developing a personal mythology, creating rôles for his featured ‘actors, while working in the tradition of great expressionist artists such as Rouault, Beckmann & Guston.
Neil states: “I have been involved with Printmaking now for over 30 years. I can honestly say I adore everything about it; the smells and sounds of inks being mixed, the lively atmosphere and etiquette of a busy print room, learning from others who know magical secrets about thinking creatively, the happy accident, the incomparable beauty of ink on paper. Early in my career a colleague remarked to me that “you can always spot a printmaker in any exhibition – they will be the one trying to look around the back of the painting to work out how its been fixed to the wall”. This exhibition is a selection of some of my prints made with this inquisitive nature for process and making; I hope you can enjoy viewing them as much as I have enjoyed making them.
Neil has exhibited extensively throughout Europe and is the co-founder of ‘Eight Days a Week’, the Liverpool/ Cologne Cultural Exchange. He has recently been Printmaker in Residence at the Kolner Graphikwerkstatt, Cologne, Germany, Bluecoat Print Workshop, Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, Taller 72, Lima, Peru and Artist in Residence as part of the TUPAC Residencias Programme, Lima, Peru.