Artist gets closer to the truth

Taranaki Daily News - - Entertainment - TARA SHASKEY

A Taranaki artist is try­ing to un­ravel ‘‘the truth’’, one print at a time. Kick­ing off the sum­mer arts sea­son at Kina Gallery in New Ply­mouth, Roger Mor­ris, or Remo, is pre­sent­ing a po­lit­i­cal na­tured solo ex­hi­bi­tion, ti­tled In the Houses of Shadow, Ev­ery­body Lies.

The ac­tivist artist said the body of work was in­spired by ‘‘the lies of our his­tory’’.

He said the se­ries of mono and wood­block prints, per­tained to a de­clas­si­fied se­nate in­tel­li­gence re­port on the CIA black sites.

‘‘This is what you get given as truth. Then they tell us you have to work our heads around that.’’

He said the art­work begged the ques­tion, what is truth and what is lies? It was a ques­tion he had pon­dered since ‘‘he woke up to it’’ fol­low­ing the Septem­ber 11 at­tacks on the land­mark Twin Tow­ers in New York. The prints, con­structed over the last year us­ing han­drubbed and roller and sten­cil meth­ods, look at how re­al­ity is shaped and how peo­ple make sense of, or find truth be­hind lo­cal, na­tional and global events that shape their think­ing and view of the world, he said.

‘‘All my work re­lates to me get­ting used to a geopo­lit­i­cal his­tory. And the man­u­fac­tured lies and de­cep­tions that have got us here.’’

Mor­ris has worked on the prints, about 100 in to­tal, for the past year. They are mainly black and white with some fea­tur­ing splashes of colour. The im­ages de­tail mo­ments from his­tory such as a sniper which re­lates to the as­sas­si­na­tion of John F. Kennedy, and the Twin Tow­ers which ex­plores the Septem­ber 11 at­tacks.

‘‘They’re all my im­ages and I’m try­ing to make my nar­ra­tive rather than any­body elses.’’

Mor­ris is renowned for ad­dress­ing po­lit­i­cal or so­cial is­sues through his art­work. It was a way for the artist to ‘‘fig­ure it all out,’’ he said.

‘‘I feel like I’m get­ting closer to the truth, I reckon we all are. I reckon the in­ter­net has bro­ken it wide open.’’

The ex­hi­bi­tion be­gins on Fri­day, Fe­bru­ary 16 and will run un­til March 12.


Roger Mor­ris is renowned for ad­dress­ing po­lit­i­cal or so­cial is­sues through his art­work.

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