I’m always a little surprised about the coincidences that crop up…who would have thought that one of the blogs I follow would have just received artmail from Exeter – where I was born and lived till leaving for college at 18.  Or that another I follow should mention within a day or two the Ikon Gallery where I worked from 75 till 80…and that he would then reveal that Mali Morris (who we showed in that period – see above) was his favorite painter.  Maybe not that surprising but then again…

And looking at this image from her show (it must have been around 1978/9) several things struck me…one is how we never thought to paint the floor a more neutral colour!  Another is that although her work has matured it still shares quite a few of the concerns she had as a painter back then.  The size of the work is smaller by and large but the scale seems to me to be pretty consistent.  The imagery is less associative and doesn’t have the fascination with pattern that is evident today but the colour palette I reckon is similar too.  She is but one of several UK painters who has never received quite her due, not least as the UK art world got swept away a few years after this with the YBA’s.  I wonder what the perspective of history will say about this period…I haven’t seen it but comments from many suggest that there is much vacuity in the retrospective of ‘the King of the YBA’s’…


10 thoughts on “Coincidences

  1. What a wonderful installation shot. As well as the floor, note the way we used to frame paintings in those days! I went all the way to Cardiff to see ‘Angels and People’ and they let me into the store to see it. There it is in this shot fifth from right, I had the feeling I had seen it before and now I wonder if in fact I saw this show at the Ikon. (I was trying to remember what was on when I first visited in ’76. Could it have been Jennifer Durrant? Do you remember a show of hers entitled ‘Furtive Forms’? -I may have made that up). Mali Morris’s current show at The Mostyn is still on, I think until June. It is well worth seeing. I hope to go for another look on 27 May when there is also a talk on at the gallery entitled something like “what happens to the brain when it looks at paintings?”

    1. Curiously I only faintly remember Jennifer Durrant’s work being at Ikon…maybe she did show there but outside my timeframe (I was so busy in my new job I rarely got back to the gallery after I left, in October 1981). I also used to have a rather nice catalogue of her work but I can’t seem to find that either!

  2. It’s a small world. I was reading a blog I follow the other day and she mentioned my sister in law. The blogger is her friend and had taught her at NASCAD. I hadn’t even realized the blogger was located in Canada.

  3. Hi David, Great shot – I’m interested in the steel sculpture of the 70s. Any relevant shots of that?
    Sam Cornish

      1. Great – off the top of my head – Peter Hide, John Foster, Tony Smart, Katherine Gili, Neville Boden, Caro, Jeff Lowe, John Panting, Richard Rome….


      2. Hi Sam, Sorry but when I went through the back catalogue I don’t seem to have much welded steel…though I clearly recall man handling several Tim Scott’s and Jeff Lowe’s – and do you remember John Gibbons…

      3. No worries – Tim Scott and John Gibbons were the two I realised that I had left off after posting my list…

  4. Hi David, I spoke to Mali at an opening the other night and she wanted to get in touch. Could you send me your email so I can pass it along to her? My address is my name with an underscore in the middle

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