Text by Anne McNeill
200 x 165 mm
“Seven Years” (2001-2004) aims to deconstruct the trope of family photography by meticulously mimicking it. In the series, the title of which refers to the age gap between the artist and her elder sister, Morrissey functions as director, author and actor, staging herself and her sibling in tightly controlled, fictional mis en scene based on the conventions of family snapshots.
In order to construct images that appear to be authentic family photographs from the 1970s and 1980s, Morrissey uses period clothing and props, both her own and others, and the setting of her family’s house in Dublin. They assume different characters and roles in each image, utilising body language to reveal the subtext of psychological tensions inherent in all family relations. The resulting photographs isolate telling moments in which the unconscious leaks out from behind the façade of the face and into the minute gestures of the body.
About the Artist
Trish Morrissey’s work is a study of the language of photography through still and moving images. She uses performance and wit as tools to investigate the boundaries of photographic meaning. Although most of her work features the artist herself as the protagonist, they are not self portraits per se, though they can be read that way. The humour often evaporates leaving a slow burning psychologically tense afterglow. Weaving fact and fiction, she plunges into the heart of such issues as family experiences and national identities, feminine and masculine roles, and relationships between strangers.
About the Author
Anne McNeill is the Director & Curator of Impressions Gallery, a Bradford based charity that helps people understand the world through photography.
About the Publisher
Impressions Gallery was established in 1972 as one of the first specialist photographic galleries in Europe. They have grown to become one of the UK’s leading independent venues for contemporary photography. Since their inception, Impressions Gallery have supported and encouraged artists who have challenged and changed photography. Publishing is an important part of the creative programme at Impressions Gallery. Publications are regularly produced to complement and extend our exhibitions, allowing audiences to experience our artistic vision outside the walls of the gallery.