Monarch of the Glen Ultimate Biscuit Tin: Kevin Andrew Morris
Curated by Carolyn Alexander
PREVIEW 3/12/16, 2-4pm
EXHIBITION OPEN 04/12/16 - 04/02/17, 11am-3pm
Kevin Andrew Morris’ work engages with concepts of craft, material and place, motivated by an investigation of his own family heritage and material culture.
Using research into the life of his grandfather (a fishing Ghillie in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, from 1920-1970) he has re-established a connection with a man he never met. By interrogating objects owned by his grandfather, making site visits and collecting stories, he has uncovered a deeper understanding of our links to the past and the evolution of craft. His work facilitates conversations between found objects detached from their original environment and fabricated ceramic pieces, focusing on attitudes to survival through craft and the fragility of both the natural world and human condition.
'Monarch of the Glen Ultimate Biscuit Tin' explores similar themes through the use of found ceramic objects, digital printing and slip casting. It studies philosophies surrounding collections, souvenirs and trophies, paying particular attention to the memories attached to them. Morris manipulates found objects with super imposed imagery, adding to their life story and imparting a new existence. This transformation brings the old and the new face to face, blurring the lines between past use and new purpose.
The title of this exhibition refers to The Monarch of the Glen, 1851, by the English painter Sir Edwin Landseeran, a painting that became something of a cliché during the mid-20th century. Described as, ‘the ultimate biscuit tin image of Scotland,’ it’s likeness is often exploited by various companies for use in advertising or appropriated for corporate identities. This exhibition seeks to manipulate the image in a similar context, probing the ways overuse can mute an image and challenging the deep-rooted relationships and memories connected to this particular ‘cliché.’
These pieces are showcased alongside the original objects that inspired them, some of which were owned by Morris’ grandfather, emphasising the interactions at play within multi-generational craft. In addition to confronting perceptions of cliché, themes of identity and place were explored throughout the making of the pieces, which were created during time spent in Scotland and Canada - two countries that can be said to identify with the idea of the North. This element of the work examines hunting, shooting, and fishing in Scotland and Canada, with consideration given to the impact that these industries have on our environment. It seeks to encourage visitors to consider how they interact with their own habitats, be they man made or natural, as well our collective connections to heritage and tradition.
Kevin Andrew Morris (b. Aberdeen UK). After graduating with BA Hons in Ceramic Design at The Glasgow School of Art in 2010, Morris has exhibited his work both nationally and internationally, curating and working with a range of artists, institutions and on various public projects.
Recent solo exhibitions include A Northern Soul at the Lighthouse, Glasgow 2015; Woodend Barn, Aberdeenshire, 2016; and Monarch of the Glen Ultimate Biscuit Tin at House for an Art Lover, 2016. He was selected for the Glasgow Life Visual Arts and Crafts Mentoring award, 2014 and his work featured as part of the Tallinn Applied Art Triennial The Art of Collecting in Estonia, 2013. He has undertaken residencies at The Scottish Sculpture Workshop, 2012; as part of the Naked Craft Network exhibition touring Canada (Burlington, Quebec City, and Halifax, Nova Scotia), 2015/16; and in Scotland (Thurso, Kingussie, West Kilbride, Peebles and Stornaway) over 2016/2017; in addition to the Kiln Raising residency at The Banff Centre during 2016.