Big Ideas in Art and Culture
Heather and Ivan Morison make art through their active engagement with materials, histories, sites and processes. They produce a wide range of art works and interventions including sculpture, photography, architecture and text-based work. The Morisons have developed their practice through travels that have taken them around England and across the globe to Siberia, Tasmania, Mongolia, China, the United States and Canada.
Working less like tourists than traders, the Morisons return to their home in the United Kingdom to develop long-term projects informed by their investigations abroad. In recent years the artists have based themselves in the remote Welsh village of Arthog where they have developed an arboretum.
Their interest in post-apocalyptic science fiction has inspired a series of works informed by research into primitive and counter-cultural dwellings and the concerns for the biosphere. Their shelters variously make reference to earlier utopian dreams, collectivist proposals for a reintegration with nature and psychological defense mechanisms for a future apocalyptic world scorched by the sun.
The Morisons represented Wales at the 52nd Venice Biennale. Falling Into Place, a fictionalized account of their larger shelter works of the past few years, was published by Bookwooks in late 2009. Recent work includes installations in Bellevue, Washington, Plymouth, England and they will be opening a new work at the Vancouver Art Gallery's Offsite location on September 30, 2010.
Ivan Morison, will talk about the work he and Heather make on Tuesday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m., in the Rotunda at Kitchener City Hall. Responding to the work and the ideas behind it will be University of Waterloo Associate Professor of English Andrew McMurry.
The Big Ideas in Art and Culture series is made possible in part through the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
(Illustration above: Heather and Ivan Morison, Journée des Barricades, 2008, various industrial and domestic items, 800 x 2100 x 1000 cm, Commissioned by Litmus Research Initiative, Massey University for One Day Sculpture, Wellington, New Zealand. Photos: Stephen Rowe.)
About Big Ideas in Art and Culture
The Big ideas in Art and Culture Lecture Series is a joint production of CAFKA and Musagetes. CAFKA is about making art happen in the public spaces of this community, introducing contemporary art to new audiences and engaging the public in new ways of seeing their city. The Musagetes Foundation has been active around the world gathering artists and public intellectuals to consider variations on the theme of social transformations through creative and artistic interventions. These open forums, or cafés, explore and apply new ideas in creative practices, social change and community development. Musagetes Cafés have taken place in London, England, 2007, Barcelona, Spain, 2008, Rijeka, Croatia, 2010, Sudbury, Ontario, 2011 and in Lecce, Italy, 2012. CAFKA gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the City of Kitchener, The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation – Musagetes Fund, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council in helping to make this lecture series possible.