This work was begun while I was pregnant with my second child who I knew would be born with life threatening health challenges. It seemed that my body was bringing forth life and death at the same time. I felt like I was drowning. The Romantics saw the sea as the symbol of the proximity of life to death, of pain to pleasure. There is a sense of purging and rebirth that submersion into cold sea brings. The photographs were made around the beaches of Ireland, England and Wales
Kate Best, wrote ‘..The artist returns to these sites of memory, staging enigmatic, contemplative scenes suggestive of the works of Northern Romantic painters, in which a figure is absorbed in and possibly overwhelmed by the landscape; a kind of contemporary sublime. As with all of Morrissey’s work, each piece carries several layers of reference — pictorial and conceptual, personal and collective. These include mermaids in art and legend/fairy tale who give themselves to the sea; local traditions, whereby each family would knit their own version of the Aran sweater to be able to identify fishermen drowned at sea; Christian iconography of the ‘mother and child’; and memories of her own childhood’*
*From Trish Morrissey, Autofictions; Twenty Years of Photography and Film, published by Parvs, Finland, 2022.