Image of a damn in a road made by various trash


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.)