In the beginning – I was a graphic designer. I felt that everything I created had to be clean and perfect. Now – I am an artist. I embrace the random, chaotic results of screen-printing and painting, bringing the piece together through balance and colour. Instant gratification. This I achieve through experimenting in my art studio, creating and making things up as I go.
I work with acrylic: because it’s so quick to work with and if what you have done doesn't work you can go straight back over the top of it building texture as you go. Collage: because it is a combination of elements that tell a story, and screen prints: because you have no idea what the result will be until you lift up that screen. I am currently using images from my memories of late 60s early 70s urban sprawl - the last frontier.
My subject matter depicts the inevitable reality of farmland being taken over by urban growth on its march forward swallowing everything in its path. The dying farm being invaded by weeds, the lone animal and the farmer’s lack of caring as the farm faces its doom. Memories of hot summer days with little shade in the newly developed, tree-less surburbia and the scorched brown grass of the plains. A brighter future.
I am satisfied with a piece when the layering of the subject matter, the balance and the colour work collaboratively to bring the piece together – just as a composer draws random notes together to produce a melody or harmony.
The entrapment of our urban lives represented by the concrete walls that we place around ourselves as we fall into life and society without truly thinking. The feeling of helplessness as we go through the motions of ground hog day and at times wondering why? Feelings of regret and guilt from the past and fear of the future. The sense of dissatisfaction. Our minds doing overtime within this self made mental prison. The mind is a powerful place when left un-tendered.
We look for what we feel will help us feel better with what I like to call the 'buyers rush'.That fleeting moment of happiness that we feel when we make a purchase, eat, drink or whatever else we do to synthetically create a temporary moment of euphoria. But it is fleeting and shortly afterwards the feeling which can only be temporary leaves us. Once again the vacuum returns and ground hog day resumes and the mechanics of the the mind start to turn again.
But it is in our minds.
Mindfulness is represented by the blue sky and the freedom above. These paintings remind us with each viewing that freedom and liberation is there for the taking. We just need to start walking the path of mindfulness. That of being in the moment and being conscious of that moment and the feelings of gratitude and appreciation that comes with placing our attention in the moment. Looking at the sky and perhaps truly waking up for the first time in our lives.
The great Australian Dream.
The vivid colours represent what should be a bright and happy life and hope whilst the dripping paint and grunginess represents some cynicism for what really goes on behind the four walls of our urban homes.
The cars, and the dream of your own home, marriage, divorce, the whole damn bit.
At times I am fearful when I take these photos that I am potentially exposing something beyond what the eye sees as a normal suburban house. I have been pursued by a bikie during one of my photo shoots for that very reason, and God only knows what was going on in that house.
Yet growing up these images represent an Australia we all grew up in and I remember fondly as a kid mucking about in the back yard in a Clarkes pool or just running around under the sprinkler on a 34 degree day.
But kids can be naive to machinations of urban lives. Our parents battles as they came to terms with the repetition of ground hog day and trying to work out how they fit into the urban structure and I think that today behind these walls the struggles may equalled or perhaps be even greater.
The houses represent a fondness of Australian life whilst potentially exposing the possible urban truths of Australian lives for some.
The colour and openness of the sky above also represents hope and a brighter future for those looking as mindfulness and wisdom comes to us in time as we observe the routine of urban life.
Nick Morris graduated from Monash University (Caulfield Australia) in 1986 with a Diploma in Graphic Design.
He has worked in the Street / Surf / Art subculture since creating clothing label “UMGAWA” in 1990. Morris then worked as art director for Quiksilver before launching his “Anyhow” design company in Torquay. He went on to produce art for Paul Frank, Stussy, Mambo, Mossimo, etc, and was a guest speaker at both the Semi Permanent and AGideas Art and Design conferences.
In 2007, Morris turned his back on commercial work to embrace a career as a full time artist. He has been prolific and devoted ever since. He works with acrylics, collage and screenprints, using images from post-war popular culture, Australiana and his own photographs.
He also collaborates with fellow artist Dave Bowers, under the name Doug Bartlett. Morris has sold out shows around the globe with his solo and collaborative works.
Nick has also been a finalist and semi finalist on separate occasions in the Doug Moran Art Prize (the richest portrait prize in the world), The Fremantle Print Awards and twice a finalist in the BSG Art Prize and Brisbane Art Prize amongst others.
“Morris’ and Bowers’ canvases indicate that freshness is still possible in a culture exhausted by all sorts of visual bombardment.” Dr. Claudia Calirman, New York Museum of Fine Art
YERRING STATION Australia 2016
BAR 61 Torquay Australia 2016
G40 ART SUMMIT Washington USA 2015
LITTLE CREATURES Geelong 2015
JACKMAN GALLERY Melbourne 2014
BOOM GALLERY Geelong April 2014
AFFORDABLE ART FAIR Singapore November 2013
AFFORDABLE ART FAIR New York City October 2013
LA ART SHOW Los Angeles January 2013
SHANHAI ART FAIR October 2012
JACKMAN GALLERY Melbourne August 2012
AAFNYC New York City April 2012
HOGAN GALLERY Melbourne March 2012
LONDON ART FAIR London January 2012
SALT GALLERY Queenscliff 2012
ART TORONTO Toronto Canada October 2011
LINTON & KAY Perth August 2011
SALT GALLERY Queenscliff Aprill 2011
RETROSPECT GALLERIES Gold Coast February 2011
GREENWOOD GALLERY November 2010
ART SYDNEY November 2010
SPACEJUNK FRANCE November 2010
IAIN DAWSON GALLERY November 2010
AAFNYC New York September 2010
SEVENTY SEVEN GALLERY Austin Texas USA June 2010
HARRISON GALLERY Sydney June 2010
ART MELBOURNE April 2010
GALLERY ON STURT Ballarat February 2010
ART WHINO MD USA February 2010
UFO GALLERY. Hong Kong. January 2010.
ART SYDNEY. October 2009
GLOBAL BOOM. Retrospect gallery Byron Bay Sept. 2009
ART MELBOURNE. April 2009
FREE RADICALS. Greenwood Gallery Melbourne March 2009
BULLET PROOF. Harrison Gallery Sydney February 2009
COOPER GALLERY. Noosa Heads January 2009
TIGERFISH GALLERY. Torquay December 2008
SPRING ST GALLERY. Sydney November 2008
ART SYDNEY. October 2008
YERING STATION. Victoria August 2008
HARRISON GALLERY. Sydney June 2008
ART BRISBANE. May 2008
ART MELBOURNE April 2008
GREENWOOD GALLERY LORNE. April 2008
GAFFER GALLERY HONG KONG. March 2008
HOGAN GALLERY. Melbourne March 2008
SPACEJUNK GALLERY. France January 2008
BRUNSWICK ST GALLERY. December 2007
ART SYDNEY. Doug Bartlett Stand October 2007
TIGER FISH GALLERY. Torquay September 2007
HO GALLERY. August 2007
FRESH GALLERY. May 2007
ART MELBOURNE. April 2007
SEMI PERMANENT GROUP SHOW. July 2006
(CHINA HEIGHTS. Sydney)
(THE BAKERY. Perth)
WHITEWASH GROUP SHOW. Torquay. April 2006.
FUEL MAGAZINE March 2016
THE AUSTRALIAN 2014
NO CURE MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2014
FUEL MAGAZINE March 2013
IDN Hong Kong Magazine March 2012
THE COURIER July 2011
HERALD SUN WEEKEND May 2011
HERALD SUN HOME MAGAZINE September 2010
SUNDAY AGE HOME April 2010
GT Magazine March 2010
SPACEJUNK MAGAZINE France 2009/2010
Q MAGAZINE. Issue 56. April 2009
SURFERS JOURNAL. France February / March 2009.
SPACEJUNK MAGAZINE. France 2007-2008
NEWS HOUR. ABC television. Aust. Asia. India and Pacific. April 2008.
JET STAR. in flight Magazine. 2008.
AG ideas Book. Melbourne. 2008.
OYSTER MAGAZINE. Sydney. Issue 75. 2008
THE RED FLAG / USELESS MAGAZINE. Germany. 2008
WATIM. (We are the image makers). On line magazine. Issue 12. 2007.
KINGBROWN MAGAZINE. Perth. Issue 2. 2007.
DESKTOP MAGAZINE. Melbourne. Issue 223. 2006. (Cover)
EMPTY MAGAZINE. Sydney. Issue 8. 2006.
MAVIOLOGY MAGAZINE. Istanbul. 2005.
SEMI-PERMANENT BOOK. Sydney. 2005. 2006.
SEMI-PERMANENT BOOK. New York. 2005.
BLAKE PRIZE DIRECTORS CUT 2015
BRISBANE ART PRIZE 2015
DOUG MORAN Semi Finalist 2014
FREMANTLE ARTS CENTRE PRINT AWARD finalist 2010
DOUG MORAN Collaborative finalist (Under the pseudonym Doug Bartlett) 2010
BRUNSWICK STREET GALLERY ART PRIZE Finalist 2009