About Annie Morris: When A Happy Thing Falls

YSP presented the first UK, solo museum exhibition by the British artist Annie Morris.

The Weston Gallery was filled with the artist's sculptures and a tapestry. It was like being in the artist's London studio, where sculptures, drawings and stitched works are in conversation with each other. The experience is like being in a family of artworks. In fact, The Family of Man by Barbara Hepworth, on long-term display at YSP, is a source of admiration for Morris.

Morris' has become especially well known for her Stack sculptures. These are towers of balanced spheres in rich colours such as Ultramarine, Viridian and Ochre. The plaster sculptures are made by hand in the artist's studio. The bronze sculptures are cast in a foundry. Each begins life as a watercolour painting, to work out the best balance of shapes and colours.

The Stack sculptures grew out of a painful time in the artist's life, when she lost her first child to stillbirth. Coming out of grief they are now affirming symbols of life, hope and creativity. The artist says:

“My sculptures are about holding onto something that's fallen, and to express the hope and defiance of life. The vibrant pigment on the surface is a way of trying to freeze the moment when paint hasn’t yet dried, and is caught in its most raw form. They assemble to create abstract paintings that escalate upwards and express the fragility we all feel in our lives. There is not a day that goes by that I don't draw something, and this is the beginning of all my work.” Head of Curatorial Programme Helen Pheby says: “Annie Morris is an exceptional artist. Her immaculately-made sculptures are exquisite in form and colour, but drawn from great emotional depth. They have the power to resonate with anybody who encounters them.”

The artist very generously created a tapestry and sculpture limited edition for YSP. Proceeds supported partnership work with families affected by bereavement.

Free resources for families

Explore creative Drawing Together and Talking Together ideas to help you discover the Annie Morris exhibition.