Claire Morgan, The Sound of Silence
8 September 2016
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This autumn, the Noordbrabants Museum will exhibit the intriguing work of a young artist from Northern Ireland, Claire Morgan. After successful exhibitions abroad, including in Britain, this will be her first solo museum exhibition in the Netherlands. Morgan’s sculptures and paintings explore the vulnerable relationship between people and their natural environment. “My work is about our relationship with the rest of nature, explored through notions of change, the passing of time, and the transience of everything around us.” Morgan’s work has already attracted lots of international attention in Paris, London, Milan and New York. The exhibition Claire Morgan, The Sound of Silence was made possible by the Renschdael Art Foundation and will open between 8 October 2016 and 8 January 2017 in Den Bosch, the Netherlands.
Claire Morgan’s sculptures are enchanting show stoppers in which elegantly taxidermied animals are on the verge of falling, jumping or flying. Their frozen movement is emphasised by the interaction with monumental geometric shapes that seem to float. According to Morgan, the creation of these seemingly solid shapes from seeds, flies, leaves and pieces of plastic, hanging from nylon threads, symbolises the futile attempt of mankind to control and organise nature. By using artificial materials, such as plastic, she also exposes the destructive relationship that mankind has with nature.
The animals that are part of her installations have died in natural ways and she mounts them herself. The white sheets of paper on which she works are the basis of her blood drawings. With these drawings, Morgan tries to better fathom the materials from which her sculptures are made. In addition to fifteen installations, the exhibition includes twelve such drawings on paper.
Morgan is fascinated by natural processes and organic materials. The construction of her installations takes a lot of time. Accurate construction of hanging blocks, balls and squares requires great precision, just like preparing and mounting the animals that she includes in her artwork. Working with her hands is important to Morgan; she describes her approach as being more intuitive than intellectual. Nevertheless, she always starts out by precisely sketching her ideas.
For Claire Morgan, a title is an essential part of a work of art. She carefully chooses her titles. Her titles often include ironic references to English and American popular culture. For instance, the title of the exhibition The Sound of Silence refers to the 1965 evergreen song by Simon & Garfunkel about people’s inability to communicate with each other.
Claire Morgan (1980, Belfast) lives and works in Newcastle, Great Britain. She studied sculpture at the University of Northumbria. After graduating in 2003, she rapidly became an international success with solo and group exhibitions, including at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2009) and at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York (2010). In 2004, she received the Bursary Award and the Roy Noakes Award from the British Society of Sculptors. In 2006, she was awarded the Premio Fondazione Amaldo Pomodoro by the Fondazione Pomodoro in Milan.
For this exhibition, the Noordbrabants Museum will publish the catalogue Claire Morgan, The Sound of Silence. The book, written by British art historian Darren Ambrose, will appear in three languages: English, Dutch and French and will be available at the Museum Shop for € 19.95.
In collaboration with
The exhibition Claire Morgan, The Sound of Silence is made possible by the Renschdael Art Foundation. Previously, the collaboration between the Renschdael Art Foundation and the Noordbrabants Museum resulted in exhibitions that included work by Lita Cabellut, Francis Bacon and Georgia Russel.