From the thrill of reaching the top of a hill to the adrenalin-soaked atmosphere of the wrestling ring, Cameron Morgan is a self-taught artist whose art reflects his everyday interests, activities and pleasures. These include gardening, hill walking and the themes and characters of classic Hollywood movies.
Morgan began making art at an early age. He often improvised with whatever materials were close at hand, making papier-mâché models for example. As a young man he was given a Polaroid™ camera as a gift, and for thirty years now he has documented his daily life and his work as an artist. These days he works in painting, photography, drawing and, occasionally, ceramics.
Morgan’s vibrant paintings feature bold, flat and heavily saturated colour. Their strong lines evoke stained-glass windows and the tradition of murals in public building. His images of nature are highly stylised. Coconut Palms (2013), for example, with its strong violet, red and blue hues and emphasis on pattern, is not a straightforward visual description of the trees, but an image with great energy and impact.
While his art doesn’t have religious themes, his human figures often recall those in religious paintings. Morgan, though, applies these visual styles to sympathetic and sometimes humorous renderings of characters such as strongmen, wrestlers, athletes and rock musicians. His commission for Clydebank’s Golden Jubilee National Hospital in 2012 pictured the visual drama of the operating theatre, with a dramatic close-up of two surgeons in green scrubs surrounded by their tools and instruments.
The strongest theme in Morgan’s art is physical endurance and the overcoming of adversity. These ideas are also reflected in the demanding size of his wall paintings and the physical challenges that he sets himself in making his work. His major mural Let the Games Begin at Project Ability, Glasgow in 2011 explored sports from track athletics to wrestling, but its massive scale and strong colour also meant that visitors were encouraged to think about their own bodies and abilities.
For GENERATION, Morgan will make a new wall painting in the Project Ability gallery space in Glasgow. Visitors will be able to see him at work in the gallery for the month before the exhibition.