13 QUESTIONS FROM ORGAN: Jeremy Morgan has a beautiful way with a line, a delicious sense of colour, his clean-cut style excites…

Jeremy Morgan – Rebounder – Acrylic and emulsion on box-mounted panels 33x29x6cm


Jeremy Morgan is a painter and graphic designer based in Oxford, he has a beautiful way with a line, a delicious sense of colour, his clean-cut style excites, there’s warmth to his cool, to his rather fluid paintings, Jeremy has taken part in a number of the more recent Cultivate on-line exhibitions, indeed he’s part of the recent show Deflect. Deflect opened last week and we thought we’d ask Mr Morgan a little more about his work.

Thirteen Questions From Organ. The idea is simple, an ongoing series of thirteen questions sent out to people who’s creativity we’re rather admiring and enjoying at the moment – artists, musicians, film makers, cake testers and who knows who? The first twelve questions are generic, the thirteenth isn’t.

1: WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?

I’m a painter and graphic designer working in Oxford, UK. My abstract paintings are open-ended responses to the beauty and imperfection of the contemporary world – ambiguous statements (if such a thing can exist) which aim to mediate between opposing tendencies of discordancy and resolution. I often paint on wood or MDF panels, this originating through a desire to recycle the off-cuts from my neighbour’s carpentry business.

2: WHERE ARE YOU TODAY?  WHERE ARE YOU MOST DAYS?

Today I’ve been partially “moonlighting” from my design desk…painting a new front door in a couple of coats of a gorgeous satin duck-egg blue in my painting studio, in between a couple of branding projects. My design office is next to my painting studio so this is not such a stretch!

Jeremy Morgan – Kaizen – Acrylic and emulsion on cradled panel, 61 x 34 x 3.5 cm

3: WHO OR WHAT IS EXCITING YOU RIGHT NOW?

Sorry, this is going to sound very nerdy, but I’m getting seriously inspired by both the dark grey undercoat and the duck-egg blue top coat used on the aforementioned door!! I’ve simply got to make a painting with these colours now!

4: WHY DO YOU MAKE ART?

Good question! Maybe the motives change with time and age?… when you first start making art as a child, perhaps you make it innocently as a fun thing to do. Then you get a bit of encouragement and the resulting dopamine release in your young brain whispers ‘feed me feed me!’ So you continue and hone your skills…encouraged and advised by others, you learn that there’s an intellectual layer under the aesthetics. Later, and perhaps this is where I’m at now, you’re maybe trying to express an idea which is not expressible via words, and are searching for others who ‘get it’ with whom you can connect. But hopefully it’s still fun!

5: HOW DO YOU WORK?

Sometimes ideas start with a word or a phrase that I hear, or which comes to me while I’m out on a run (we’ve some nice woods and hills nearby which I really enjoy). I think “that would make an interesting title” – then in perhaps a perverse, inversed way of working, I might sample from my visual language, forms which I think might create a visual equivalent to the title. During the subsequent development, any literal connection between visual marks and title often becomes all-but-lost (untethering the work from the burden of specific or singular meaning), yet a trace of it’s essence remains. In this way, although my work is undeniably abstract in form, it is not pure abstraction; the title to which I have responded shifts the work towards a narrative reading in a quasi-objective (though reductive) physical space.

6: TELL US ABOUT THE ART YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH?

I’m pretty agnostic – I enjoy artists working with similar concerns to me, whether reductive, abstract, colour-exploratory or geometric, but equally I’m fascinated by and have an appreciation of painters working in a more objective or figurative tradition, having previously explored similar concerns myself. I like to hear artists speak about their practice – if their ideas are interesting, it’s likely I’ll find their work interesting too. This is one of the reasons I set up the Instagram account ‘EPOX’ and its associated online ‘PRIMER’ artist talks – it’s great to learn from and share ideas with, other artists.

Jeremy Morgan – Sequencer – Exterior paint, emulsion, acrylic, interior wood paint on box-mounted MDF sections, 33x28x6cm

7: WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR OWN WORK?

I enjoy the ritual of finishing a painting by the application of the small dots which have become a key element of my visual language – a painter’s equivalent to dotting an ‘i’ or crossing a ‘t. The dot is often used as a stand-in for human (or maybe artificial) beings. Placed at focal points in the composition, they might act as catalysts directing the action, or are perhaps themselves trapped as unwitting participants in events playing out within the picture plane. Dots bring gravity into the pictures (mostly they seem to be constrained to similar rules of physics as we are – rolling down slopes, resting on platforms or stopped mid-roll by larger objects…). In turn this gravity brings ‘environment’ into the work – seemingly describing a physical space and shifting the reading away from the purely abstract or decorative, as if a sequence of events is being recorded. Though my work has a strong sense of discordancy and instability within it, which could in other circumstances suggest a technological break-down, my aim is to retain ambiguity as to whether the events within the picture are cataclysmic, or are equally playful in mood – perhaps kindred to slapstick comedy. I think it’s more interesting to create something open ended – where things could go either way…

8: WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE ABOUT YOUR OWN WORK?

The ritual of finishing a painting by the application of small dots!….seriously I am aware that signature elements can become tropes or stylistic crutches and aim to strike a balance between an ongoing investigation of familiar forms and the pitfalls of overuse.

9:  WHAT HAS BEEN THE HAPPIEST MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE SO FAR?

Being with my partner, Jo, for the births of both of our beautiful children, Maddy and Tom.

10: WHAT MAKES YOU ANGRY?

Lots of things! – short termism, intolerance, in-built obsolescence, wastefulness….but I try to not dwell too much on them when I’m painting – it only saps energy and gets in the way of the good stuff….

11: WHICH SUPERPOWER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE AND WHY?

The power to make time elastic – it would come in handy to stretch a few hours out when I’m up against a deadline!!

12: WHAT COULDN’T YOU DO WITHOUT?

Running shoes…

13:  WHAT IS IT ABOUT  STRAIGHT LINES ANYWAY? 

Haha! – you noticed! Well, the way I use colour at the moment is all about juxtaposition rather than mixing – rather like a plate of well presented food wherein each ingredient is a discreet component, combining with others to make a whole dish. I’m interested in the energy of pure colour, so demarcating elements through a hard edge, straight line, without any blending works best. I also think my background in graphic design – the world of logos, of brand messaging, of clarity of communication – has profoundly influenced the way I think about and build work: Forms tend to be unequivocal and clearly defined (even if what they are describing is an equivocal, unstable or undefined state!).

And finally any future shows or events coming up that you wish us to tell people about?

Thank you very much for asking. I’m in a group show called “FRACTURE!” at The Old Fire Station, Oxford from January 19th to February 26th – all welcome – and am in another show at an innovative sustainable farming educational centre called FarmED in the Cotswolds in May. Thanks so much for featuring me in Organ!!

Links – LinkTree, Instagram, Deflect, Epox,

Do click on an image to run enlarge or to run the slide show….

One thought on “13 QUESTIONS FROM ORGAN: Jeremy Morgan has a beautiful way with a line, a delicious sense of colour, his clean-cut style excites…

  1. Pingback: Two artists, Jeremy Morgan and Perdita Sinclair, who have featured in recent Cultivate shows, have just taken part in Organ’s ongoing 13 Questions series… | CULTIVATE... Artists doing it our way

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