Sue Morris’ work explores the territories of the real and the imagined,
the known and the unknown, particularly around alternative histories.
Viennese curator, Alexandra Hennig, noted that:
‘Morris’ work, which consists of the most commonplace and insignificant
things in our environment, reveals a kaleidoscope of relationships -
strange objects, drawings, textiles - and meanders between transfiguration
and discomfort, locating the strangeness in the familiar. Reminiscent of
the literary worlds of Marlen Haushofer, it describes the horror of solitude
and confinement in the “I” - the difficulty of drawing boundaries between
inside and outside - between the real and the imagined - between that which
truly happened and fractal memories’.
In 2017 Morris was granted long term access to Nazareth
House, in Derry, a former care home, as part of a project exploring the
personal narratives of aging and dementia. Her research focused on how
dementia affects the individual, especially, and how it can render the
familiar as threatening and unsettling. The resulting work, The Unfamiliar
Familiar, occupied the labyrinthine vacant building with a site-specific,
multimedia installation. The audience was guided through an array of rooms,
that both challenged perception and disrupted spatial navigation.
The Past Runs very Close (2018), continued in this thread. Drawing on
the writings of, among others, theoretical physicist, Carlo Rovelli,
and theologian/philosopher, St Augustine, Morris investigated the innate
subjectivity that underlies our temporal experience and understanding.
Alluding to St Augustine’s premise of ‘a time present of things past’,
her work concluded that both time and memory are constructed from within.
Her most recent work, Analogue Days (2019), derived from a residency
in the remote Italian village of Pietrafitta, Italy, and explored notions
of place and home. Restricted to the use of analogue technology – notebooks,
a typewriter, cyanotype and polaroid/disposable/ pinhole cameras, the work
examined the autobiographical in parallel to wider economic, social and
cultural contexts. It investigated the impact of rural depopulation,
emigration and displacement. In so doing, it sought to understand what
it means to live somewhere – to remain/leave/return – and the nature of