texts by Mali Morris


Parents, Poems, Paint
(from Mali Morris: Painting, published by RA, March 2019,
text by Sam Cornish, Preface by Mel Gooding.)

My father was born at the foot of Snowdon, in an isolated house on the edge of a village. He spoke Welsh before he learned English. My maternal grandmother was from the Midlands and when I was born in 1945 my parents were living with her, in Caernarfon, so English was our home language. When I was about ten, although I had no Welsh to speak of, my father explained the complex structures in the poetry he loved...


CREEKSIDE (Small)  2020 acrylic on paper  15 x 21 cm (32 x 38 cm framed) Private Collection
Creekside (Small)  2020
15 x 21 cm (32 x 38 cm framed)
Acrylic on canvas
Private Collection

In Sober Ecstasy, by Hans Hofmann, Royal Academy Magazine,
Summer 2016

I wasn’t ready for Hans Hofmann’s paintings when I first saw them in American art magazines in the late 1960s. I remember thinking they were too strident, too muscular, and that I didn’t like them.

A few years later I saw some in a Cork Street gallery; I stayed a while to have a good look...


SNOW OWL  1981  153 x 153 cm  Acrylic on canvas Private Collection
Snow Owl  1981
153 x 153 cm  Acrylic on canvas
Private Collection
Glide  2014   100 x 150 cm  Acrylic on canvas For the Royal Academy of Arts Magazine, Spring 2014

There is a 47-second film clip on YouTube of a seated Matisse cutting into a sheet of painted paper. The scissors look very big, a curvy shape
appears, and he begins to twist the colour yellow around in space...

Glide  2014  
100 x 150 cm  Acrylic on canvas
Private Collection

For catalogue of Painting Past Present, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 28th September 2013 – 9th Feruary 2014

This painting shone out as I walked through the galleries, and I kept coming back to it. Winifred Nicholson's written observations on colour, how it constructs luminosity and pictorial space, are evangelical and


Due North  2013 70 x 80 cm  Acrylic on canvas
Due North  2013
70 x 80 cm  Acrylic on canvas
Private Collection

Bridge  2013   63 x 72 cm in frame  Silkscreen (edition 30) Mali Morris writing about rediscovering printmaking

I made a series of photographic screen prints in the early 70s, and occasional mono-prints over the years, some on a residency in Canada, but I came to fine art printing fairly recently, invited by the Royal Academy Schools to work on an edition with them in 2011. I loved making Ruby Tuesday there with Hen Coleman. The crucial moment was when I asked for a second red to be pulled over the top right rectangle...

Bridge  2013  
63 x 72 cm in frame  Silkscreen (edition 30)

Toussaint I – IV and Mardi Gras 2014-19
Silkscreen prints (edition 30 each print) 40 x 48 cm

I made this set of four prints with Kip Gresham, a master printer based in Cambridge...


TOUSSAINT III  2014  40 x 48 cm Silkscreen (edition 30)

Toussaint III  2014  
40 x 48 cm Silkscreen (edition 30)
  Mali Morris interviews Geoff Rigden

Little Rootie Tootie is a painting I have of yours, from 1979...


Catalogue essay for Marilyn Hallam

There is a double intimacy in these paintings that I find strange and distinctive…. 


Catalogue Introduction, Camberwell College of Arts BA Fine Art Degree show, 2012 

Time to move on, time to get going... 

Low Pink Hum  1998  57 x 66 cm  Acrylic on canvas For the catalogue of Invaluable, at APT Gallery London, 2011

Sometimes, during working periods that are more exploratory than usual, a painting seems to arrive by accident. It interrupts to announce a whole new chapter - although what that will turn out to be is a mystery, for quite a while...

Low Pink Hum  1998  
57 x 66 cm  Acrylic on canvas
For catalogue of Fade Away, Transition Gallery, London 2010, travelling to Gallery North, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2011

Surfaced Later (3) was a few months in the making, one of those paintings which hang around the studio unresolved, some of them never completed. Eventually, in a final stage...


Surfaced Later (3)  2010  26 x 31 cm  Acrylic on canvas

Surfaced Later (3)  2010
26 x 31 cm  Acrylic on canvas
Dark Canopy  2010  30 x 40 cm  Acrylic on canvas

Dark Canopy  2010  
30 x 40 cm  Acrylic on canvas
Private Collection

Mali Morris on the paintings of Robert Welch, 2010

" I found your pessimism so exhilarating..."


Introduction by Mali Morris, in the book 'A Sore Head' by Robert Welch, 2015, available from:

" The stroke happened in the night..."


TOUCH - An exhibition of paintings curated by Mali Morris.
April 17th - June 17th, 2007

We first crossed paths, all of us in this show, on the third floor at Manresa Road in the then Department of Painting, before the Big Move to Millbank. In my rosy memory...


Degrees Of Freedom  1985  36 x 46 cm  Acrylic on canvas
Degrees Of Freedom  2005
36 x 46 cm  Acrylic on canvas
Early  2012  26 x 30 cm  Acrylic on canvas The Contemporary Relevance of Albert Marquet

Pierre Schneider, in his monumental study, illuminates the early importance of Marquet to Matisse, - for example in terms of how drawing relates to painting, and how form becomes sign. This suggests why Marquet is being looked at today with renewed interest by painters of all generations. Perhaps one reason for his contemporary relevance is the pared-down economy of his method, inviting reflection on the nature of painting...

Early  2012
26 x 30 cm  Acrylic on canvas
Mali Morris: Notes on some titles, 2008 - 2010

Titles are given after the paintings are finished, to identify each one. They are not meant to explain or describe, but could act as invitations to enter the world of the painting.

Although colour, and how it can construct light and space, is one of the main concerns in these paintings, quite a few of their titles refer to poems, and some to music...


Durango  2013  xx x xx cm  Acrylic on canvas

Durango  2013
35 x 45 cm  Acrylic on canvas
As Like As (Pink)  2006  30 x 40 cm  Acrylic on canvas

Mali Morris interviewed by the poet Tamar Yoseloff, an edited version appearing in the magazine Art World, August 2008

Your work has gone through many different phases. Can you say something about your early development?

I studied at Newcastle in the sixties, Richard Hamilton ran the Basic Course in the First Year, - it was very lively, a lot going on...

As Like As (Pink)  2006
30 x 40 cm  Acrylic on canvas

Angel and People - Purchased 2009 by Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, Cardiff, with the assistance of the Derek Williams Trust. Now on long loan to Maggie’s Cardiff, a new centre designed by Dow Jones Architects, London.

I painted Angel and People thirty years ago. Along with most of my paintings from that time, it was made flat on the floor, on unprimed canvas stretched across a solid board, and only later put onto a stretcher...

Angel and People  1979  180 x 171cm  Acrylic on canvas
Angel and People 1979
180 x 171cm  Acrylic on canvas
Wall Of Images - 'Back To Front' exhibition  Foyer Eagle Gallery, London 2012

BACK TO FRONT - Notes on the exhibition at Eagle Gallery, London, 14th September - 13th October 2012

On a wall in the studio, away from the painting area, I am in the habit of pinning up (on impulse, with instinct) postcards, cuttings, and objects. These don't have a direct influence my work, but they sometimes show unexpected links...

list of images &

Wall Of Images
'Back To Front' exhibition
Foyer, Eagle Gallery, London 2012

Affect and Exhibition - Notes for a discussion at RA, Learning Studio, 2017

I thought about the two words, effect and affect, and the ways I use them myself...

Tennant Gallery, RA   2019
Tennant Gallery, RA   2019

All images
© Mali Morris 2023