Family Traits, The Big Issue reviews New Works at Pumphouse Gallery, Battersea Park, London, July 2004
I enter the show to the strains of Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade, which is accompanied by a film, showing a backyard with an older woman wearing a wedding dress standing at a clothesline, whilst the wind billows round the ‘working class’ yard.
Originally from Dublin, Trish Morrissey recreates scenes from her youth in the 1970’s and 1980’s, based upon old family album snapshots. The sub-title for the show, Seven Years, comes from the age difference between Trish and her elder sister.
The show features photographs and video, including shots of Trish and her sister employing wigs and charity-shop clothing to portray characters; they appear to have had all the fun of ‘dressing-up’ and ‘play-acting’. The results are by turns convincing, comical and pathetic. The re-composed photographs show a Bay City Roller brother with a mop of hair; a shell-suited Mum and her teenage daughter blowing out the candle on a birthday cake; a couple outside their first home.
This is a nostalgic recreation of an archive embodying dreams, aspirations and love.