Interview with James Robert Morrison

Interview with James Robert Morrison

James Robert Morrison has a short while ago joined Increase Art, bringing his numerous portfolio of operates to the system. From cigarette paper drawings to homosexual-porn-inspired embroidered installations, the artist utilizes a variety of mediums to take a look at his memory, practical experience, and eventual acceptance of his sexuality. His really personal topic matter, expressed with honesty and openness, allows James to existing his function with a actually singular voice.

James sitting in front of Pattern # 7381 in his studio (@james_robert_morrison)


How would you explain your style and the operate you make?

There are two crucial threads that operate by all the work I make – particular expertise as matter make any difference and drawing. Work that is personal and draws on the artist’s own encounters truly appeals to me, so it made sense for me to make this variety of operate myself. I make a lot of pencil drawings, nonetheless I see collage as a far more quick way to attract, embroidery as drawing with a needle and yarn, and my paintings are additional like drawings as I use acrylic paint pens alternatively of brushes.

I use a numerous assortment of media – drawing, portray, collage and embroidery, so I come across it very hard to describe a distinct design and style.  In spite of this, I do imagine I continually sustain a quality and cohesion to the get the job done which evidently would make it mine.

Ghost inside of me # 23, 2022, by James Robert Morrison


Explain to us a bit about the inspiration driving your observe

I first started out to make work about my sexuality in the ultimate year of my degree (just after I came out), this ongoing on my MA at Central Saint Martins and I am nevertheless concentrating on this subject make any difference now.

The major inspiration driving my do the job at the second, arrives from a private archive of gay pornography that was secretly gathered even though my genuine sexuality was not disclosed. Illustrations or photos are borrowed from the pornography or the publications themselves are reappropriated, as it feels important for me to make something new out of this own printed issue. The perform designed addresses my memory and knowledge of discovering my sexuality, and journey to being familiar with, accepting and valuing it.

Other inspiration will come from a range of resources – movies, documentaries, looking at, discussions I’ve experienced or have overheard. It’s about using all the minor every day issues and observing them with a critical eye.

There is in no way extra than a fag paper between them – Phil and Jacob, 2020, by James Robert Morrison 


How has your apply evolved in the latest a long time?

Soon after graduating in 2002, my aim was to do the job whole-time inside of the cultural sector in order to supply a common profits to pay back the 5 yrs of scholar credit card debt I had accrued. Seventeen many years afterwards, I was equipped to establish a dedicated studio and functioning pattern to critically support new progress of my artistic practice.

My personalized subject make a difference has remained dependable since the closing calendar year of my undergraduate diploma, as has my playful and experimental approach toward the media I use. Nevertheless, the crack from generating operate has certainly authorized me to evolve a renewed target and prospect in direction of my follow, and the immediate final results of this are plainly tangible, as is the relevance and profile of my achievements through this time.

Ghost inside of me # 11, 2020, by James Robert Morrison


What is an common day like in your studio?

As I function portion-time, I only have two committed studio times a week (whilst I ordinarily end up performing on weekends as effectively). I try to expend most of my studio times creating perform, even though this genuinely relies upon on my temper if I’m currently being honest.

If I’ve experienced a good night’s sleep and been to the gym in the early morning, I will do the job on cigarette paper drawings for the day. To prepare the surfaces effectively and create the stage of element I want in these drawings, I have to be sensation good and wholly targeted. I find it tricky to function in silence, so I will stream a documentary, film or television sequence in the track record.

When my temper and emphasis is not at the appropriate degree for drawing, I will perform on paintings, collage and embroidery for the working day. Building these operates needs me to be far more physical and get into a rhythm, so I will engage in songs in the track record – typically mixes on Soundcloud by Horse Meat Disco, Honey Dijon or Disco Smack.  

There are also some days when I am not experience innovative at all – so I will do the job on admin, do some looking at or mindfulness and then acquire a long nap on the studio couch!

Ghost inside of me # 10, 2020, by James Robert Morrison


What/Who are your vital influences?

My art faculty training commenced at the begin of September 1997, later that month the controversial Sensation exhibition opened at the Royal Academy in London.  Instantly, absolutely everyone was chatting about up to date art and I found out the do the job of the Younger British Artists at a pivotal time. The artists in this display were being demanding the boundaries of what can be regarded as art, what is suitable to be represented in artwork, and what artwork can say – this has surely been a vital affect on me and my perform.

In conditions of precise artists, there are a several who are essential influences, but in various approaches:

Tracey Emin and Nan Goldin – use of own and intimate subject matter make any difference in their get the job done.

Derek Jarman, David Hockney, David Robilliard, David Wojnarowicz, Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol – queer artists who did not shy absent from making art about queer identities and encounter at a time when it was complicated to do so.

Barbara Walker – pushing and elevating the medium of drawing and highlighting the worth of visibility and representation in her do the job.

Pattern # 7142B, 2021, by James Robert Morrison


Who are some Increase Art artists with do the job you might be making the most of at the second?

Sarah Whiteley – I really like her landscape paintings on antique and recycled domestic cloth. It is these an interesting surface to paint on and I definitely enjoy how it delivers together various narratives by revealing and concealing different information.

Gavin Dobson – I truly admire his system, storytelling and loose/expressive style of portray. His get the job done is refreshing and comprehensive of energy and motion.   

Oleksandr Balbyshev – significantly his figurative nude paintings that examine themes of male sensuality and sexuality, while I similarly admire the really ornamental perform he produces utilizing uncovered sculptures and portraits of Lenin.

There is hardly ever much more than a fag paper amongst them – Kenny and Craig, 2021, by James Robert Morrison


Are you at this time doing the job on any remarkable new jobs?

Not at this time, but there are two new tasks I am fired up about receiving started on towards the conclude of this yr and next yr.

A person will go on to discover the private matter issue my present-day perform is concerned with, and like my cigarette paper drawings, I will be making use of another exceptional and demanding surface to perform on.

The next will contain a focused investigation interval with a community archive – I am actually eager to create new and broader research dependent methodologies and introduce other areas of queer experience, identities and histories into my perform.

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