by Danielle Fallon
Two Coats of Paint Resident: Nancy Morrow
September 25 – October 2, 2015
Recently, I was given the wonderful opportunity to meet Nancy Morrow, an Associate Professor at Kansas State University and current Alumnae artist of A.I.R. Gallery. Nancy was recently chosen by Sharon Butler to participate in the Two Coats of Paint Residency as the second and newest resident, from September 25 – October 2, 2015. Nancy Morrow is an established mixed-media artist who explores mediums such as gouache, graphite, acrylic, and watercolor to create layered images that open a window to a meditation on humanity and environment. Located in the heart of Dumbo, Brooklyn, the studio Nancy worked in for the week was inviting; filled with ideas and creativity. Artwork decorated the walls and as we contemplated on the pieces before us a plethora of connections were made regarding the ideas she intends to put forth.
While observing the artwork Nancy created before the residency it became evident that she creates sharp, geometrical, spatial environments for humans or animals to dwell and interact within. Many of these pieces remind me of M.C. Escher’s drawings. They bring the mind and imagination into a completely new world where the laws of gravity no longer apply, allowing a new dimension of life to withstand – you can see this in the piece above, “Edifice.” As I commented on the architectural elements included in most of her work, Morrow noted that the work she began producing in the studio and previous to her arrival were “becoming much more organic.” This new artwork has begun to lack necessity for the human form. This change is where I see a gateway for the presence of the human to become more direct and intense. The way Morrow’s artwork is developing allows for the imagery and content to have a reflective relationship. As the structures of everyday objects deteriorate towards organic quality the content gives way to more interpretation. As you can see in the finished piece “Glimpse” from the residency, Morrow has made a pill box become a world or as she likes to describe them, “shelter.” Within repetition of simple geometric form, the piece begins to allude depth and space or the passing of time, perhaps both.
The idea of stillness, waiting, and the feeling of “time stopping” were all attributes we began to immerse ourselves in when discussing Morrow’s new artwork. These less definitive spaces, the opportunity for human objects to reside in what she creates allows for a pause effect. The layers of paint or graphite are now reflected in what is human. This notion, suspension of time, has much to do with how Morrow finds herself changing as an artist and person. She explained that this opportunity with Two Coats of Paint Residency allowed her to explore this new feeling of, “entering creatively in a different way and as a different person.” Morrow found her time in New York to be most inviting and was encouraged by feedback from artists and colleagues. Opportunity, possibility, and presence surrounded Nancy Morrow in more ways than one.