Jennifer Morrison South Africa , b. 1971

Jennifer Morrison studied both there and in London, where she graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. She has had solo shows in Johannesburg, London and Durban and been in group exhibitions in London, New York and Cape Town. Morrison is currently represented by Graham Contemporary in Johannesburg and Barnard Gallery in Cape Town. Her work is in private collections in South Africa, Singapore, United States, Australia and London. Morrison lives and works in London.


Jennifer Morrison, creates abstract paintings which are primarily concerned with colour, scale, texture and form. Although she has lived in London for over two decades, the colours of South Africa have never left her and remain a central influence in her work. She is interested in weighing accident against deliberation, precision and control against playfulness and abandon. Whether it is a plant or clouds or smudges on a wall, these can all serve as inspiration for Morrison and act as a starting point for a painting.


Her work explores the medium of oil paint and seeks to rely on the intuition of the artist in the making of the works and on the person who views them. The experience of making the works is based on unconscious filters, values, past experience and knowledge. Her paintings raise the issue of the viewer’s expectation of paintings, the need for some to see it perform as a narrative space within which the image and meaning can unfold. Telling stories is not a primary concern for the artist. The visual impact and experience is paramount.


Morrison wants the viewing of her paintings to be a rich experiential encounter. For the artist, painting is about exploring the invented object in front of her. The formal qualities of abstract painting are significant not in themselves but as part of a work’s expressive message.


She is interested in the literalness of painting, of comprehending a work in a literal and experiential sense. She sees it as a kind of honesty. It is also about having faith in not knowing, in being confounded, in doubt. With painting, as with other things, you’re always losing possibilities by the choices you make. Morrison feels this to be a very exciting thing.