28 November - 16 December 2017

Da Vinci Artists Brushes is delighted to present the inaugural London solo show of Scottish artist Suzi Morris at Herrick Gallery.

A fascination with the independent nature of oil paint and its capacity to modify and spread unpredictably, led Morris to discover a synergy that seems to exist between the substance of oil paint and viral behaviour. The sciences of virology and genomics capture her imagination in multifarious ways and have become a medium through which decisions are made in her painting. Working in multiple layers of glaze using high resin oil colour Morris’ paintings become a sensory discovery through the substance of oil paint and its material formulation. 

The Viral Sublime, the title of her project, has taken Morris into laboratories and instigated collaborations with scientists. These partnerships have a profound effect on her imagination and the decisions she makes in painting. The development of her painting and use of paint draws deeply on the imaginative processing resulting from a lifetime of medical treatment in suppressing Keratitis. The scientific and medical language that have become familiar to her in subduing this virus, notably words such as staining, scarring, opacity, blurring, spreading and trace, seep into her practice. The paintings of The Viral Sublime are in part, projections of her imaginary perception of the interior landscape of the body: cerebral images of abstract thoughts on parts of the body that remain unseen to the naked eye. Vertical lines function as ‘biomarkers,’ which reference the measurable indicators in the body and pay homage to the strengths and vulnerabilities of the human spirit.

Morris’ paintings resonate with many of the world health crises and scientific discoveries of our time.  As viruses are now becoming digital avatars in the fight to cure cancer and other inherited diseases, genomic medicine is opening the doors towards personalised medicine in mainstream healthcare. One of Morris’ objectives is to expand the dialogue between science, medicine and art to initiate change in society’s perceptions of disease, particularly viruses. 

“Only on reflection after a painting is complete and I am fully present in my studio, can I make sense of the culmination of personal bodily experience, history, theory and new sciences that came together to create it”. 

Morris, co-founder of the da Vinci Artists Residency and former Art Director in Film, recently completed a practice based professional doctorate in Fine Art at UEL, supported by da Vinci Artists Brushes and Schmincke Paint. In 2012 Morris was offered a scholarship to Kingston and later received an MA in Painting from the City & Guilds of London Art School. Her work has been exhibited widely in the UK and Germany, and features as part of collections globally.

Dr Suzi Morris lives and works in London, and will feature in The Residency, a documentary to be released in 2018.

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