“Morrissey has often produced large-scale photographs in which she appears. She increasingly uses archives and found material that she re-enacts or recreates afresh in her work. Her first experience of an archive was at her parents’ home – which was a large box full of photographs of her and her siblings; relevant press cuttings and an array of often unlabelled photographs of deceased relatives, and family events. This family memory box was to influence her work in many ways. Through it, Morrissey became interested in how we will be understood in the future from the archives we store today.” Camilla Brown
Born in Dublin, Trish Morrissey now lives in the UK. Combining performance and self portraiture with photography and film, her recent practice uses archives as a point of departure to explore themes such as class, family relationships, body and gesture, gender and role-play, power and control and what it means to be human.
“What I love most about archives is that though they may claim to hold indelible truths, they are yet open to interpretation. History may give you the facts, but rarely the feelings of the people written about. What traces are left after people die? What do we really know about their lives as they themselves lived them, their own actual experience of living? The writer of historical fiction Hilary Mantel has said ‘As soon as we die, we are interpreted’ and ‘The task of historical fiction is to take the past out of the archive and to relocate it in a body’.” (Trish Morrissey)
Trish Morrissey: a certain slant of light was exhibited at Francesca Maffeo Gallery in June 2018. Comprising of thirteen photographs and two films Trish Morrissey: a certain slant of light responds to extensive research into archive material gathered about the last two female residents of Hestercombe House, a stately home and gardens in Somerset, England.
This body of work is a playful and rigorous enquiry of the lives of Elizabeth Maria Tyndale Warre (1790 -1872) and The Right Honourable Mrs Constance Portman (1854 -1951). Living under the shroud of a patriarchal society, both women ran the estate independent of men. Morrissey uses archive materials as starting points to develop characters who are part fact, and part imagination. Trish Morrissey: a certain slant of light eloquently puts flesh on the bones of dry history.
Morrissey is currently working towards a major solo exhibition at Gustav Museum, Serlachius Fine Art Foundation, Finland, for 2022.
Morrissey has exhibited her photographs and films internationally and her work is housed in the permanent collection of The Gösta Serlachius Fine Art Foundation, Finland; Bohuslän Museum, Sweden; The Museum of Fine Art, Houston USA; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The National Media Museum, Bradford and the Wilson Centre for Photography, London.
Solo and two person shows include Hestercombe Gallery, Somerset (2017) Bohuslans Museum, Sweden (2016) (with Bettina von Zwehl); Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2010) and Impressions Gallery Bradford, UK (2009).
Recent group shows include Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery, London; Touching from a Distance, Gösta Serlachius Fine Art Foundation, Mänttä, Finland; Self: Image and Identity, Turner Contemporary, Margate (2015); Family Matters, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy (2014); Modern Families: Relatives and Relationships in Art, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Ireland; Making it up: Photographic Fictions, Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2013); and Hijacked, Perth Institute for Contemporary Arts, Australia and Quad, Derby (2012).
Morrissey was a finalist for the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize in 2015 and a finalist in the video section of Celeste Prize, 2012.
Her publications include Seven Years (2004) and Front (2009) (both published in conjunction with Impressions Gallery). Morrissey’s work is also featured in several survey publications, including The Photograph as Contemporary Art by Charlotte Cotton (Thames and Hudson, 2005); Vitamin Ph, Survey of International Contemporary Photography (Phaidon, 2006); Auto Focus: The Self-Portrait in Contemporary Photography, by Susan Bright (Thames and Hudson, 2010); and Photography and Ireland by Justin Carville, published by Exposures 2012, and Making It Up: Photographic Fictions by Marta Weiss, published by V&A and Thames and Hudson
Her work will be included in Photo50 Who is looking at the family, now? at London Art Fair 2019, curated by Tim Clark.