|Design: Chris Cowdrill|
This coming weekend sees the opening of Shaun Morris' Exhibition, 'Black Highway' at Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery. It's the culmination of two years of hard work exploring the nocturnal world beneath the elevated motorways close to his family home on the north-west fringes of Birmingham.
I first came across Shaun's work from viewing his blog and was privileged to exhibit some of my own work alongside several of his early motorway paintings in the group show he organised with his 'Indigo Octagon' compatriots in Birmingham in November 2012 [1.].
Last year saw the entire series to date exhibited at Rugby Art Gallery & Museum under the title 'Stolen Car' [2.]. In that show, it was possible to really appreciate how Shaun had approached the same fairly compact territory from a variety of perspectives, exploring the realms of memory and identity within a landscape, as well as the powerful atmospheres to be found there. Subsequently, four of the painting, including the new 'Black Ground', were included in 'By The Way' [3.], a mixed media show of work exploring the theme of Edgelands, at Nottingham's Bohunk Institute.
|Shaun Morris, 'Black Ground', Oil On Canvas, 2013|
'Black Highway' will be the largest survey of this work and I'm looking forward to seeing the latest pieces for real. Focussing more on the relationship between the elevated roads ands the canals below Shaun has also started to meditate on the political influences which have shaped this landscape in recent decades. In particular, he has spoken of the betrayal of a traditional manufacturing area and the loss of jobs and opportunities in the community in which he grew up. It seems the new paintings may reflect far more than just the illuminated night sky.
I'm sure I'll post more about this show once I've visited it. For now, you can see 'Black Highway' at White Gallery, Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery, Riversley Park, Coton Road, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, CV11 5TU, between 11 January and 2 March 2013.
[1.]: 'If A Picture Paints A Thousand Words, Why Can't I Paint', The Works Gallery, Birmingham, 13 November - 23 November 2013.
[2.]: 'Stolen Car', Floor One, Rugby Art Gallery & Museum, 9 February - 21 February 2013
[3.]: 'By The Way', Bohunk Institute, Nottingham, 17 October - 31 October 2013