The caribArt platform embraces Morris Thompson the artist as he makes a bold step representing the birthplace of his parents at the caribArt Exhibition London 2018.
As a child Morris had heard so many stories about this Jamaica his parents still called home although they had been living in the United Kingdom for many years. His father was born in St. Annes and fell in love with a pretty-pretty island girl from Clarendon who had big dreams for her future. The couple eventually migrated to the UK where Morris' Dad worked as a stone mason, shoe maker & crafts man and his mother a nurse and seamstress in her spare time.
The fondest memories of Morris' childhood are the stories and jokes his father would relate to him that had been based on the superstitious experiences of the people from his village. He remembers to this day scary stories of duppies (ghosts) that he had been told would attach themselves to people, places and objects. These stories had given him many sleepless nights. He laughingly remembers the hilarious stories of village people who later on bore nicknames based on incidents good or bad that had happened to them. He fondly remembers that his father had a beautifully plaited leather belt which too carried stories of it's own straight from the island and that although these stories had made him laugh until his belly would hurt from time to time, if he misbehaved, he had also found out about it's many other uses.
Morris specialises in portraiture and caricature. At the Barking School of Technology, England he studied Graphic Design and Advertising but was drawn to the road where he joined street artists in Leicester Square and Shaftesbury Avenue London. There he learned many different styles of portraiture and caricature by interacting with artists from all over the world and eventually developed his own unique style.
Morris' work is dominated by afrocentric forms of expression that fuse the spiritual, cultural, and scientific thought through the study of nature, life and the man-made environment which he sees as one and the same.
His study of ancient civilisations has led him to believe that it is the basis of our present day awareness of self. However he credits mankind's distorted forms of his own science on mankind's removal from such ancestral-built and applied knowledge. He strongly feels that life is art and we can therefore paint our lives as we learn and understand its make-up just like an artist who must understand the materials, tools, and media that he uses to create physical manifestations of his spiritual experiences.
Morris cites Marcus Garvey as a major Influence because, 'he lead us to know that we must free ourselves from slavery. That it starts with the mind and that none but ourselves can do it.' His mother has also had a major influence on the work that he does today. Other that having a scientific background in nursing, and being the architect of her own clothing she was always very health-conscious and had a great knowledge of natural herb preparation and their applications. She inspired him to seek knowledge of his own history beyond slavery thus instilling strength and pride.
When asked why he wanted to be part of the caribArt platform this is what Morris had to say,
'The reason I joined the Carib Art Regional Platform is because it is unique platform promoting Caribbean art and expertly empowering the artists by giving them a dedicated space to express the Caribbean identity,history, and spirit. The caribArt founder understands that art is an amazing tool that can impress positive vibes on the spirit and move us to a greater understanding on all levels and is therefore vital to our human experience and empowerment.
I sensed a forward thinking vibe when I accessed the website and after speaking to Tricia I confirmed that my initial vibe was on point. Tricia confirmed that many ventures are already in place or being constructed all of which are linked to the promotion and upliftment of our culture and mindset therefore it is a must for me to be part of such a forward thinking and much needed venture.'
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