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Impressions Gallery

exhibitions: past


Trish Morrissey

26th Jun - 06th Sep 2009

Front brings together three new artworks exploring the beach, family photography and motherhood. This solo show by Trish Morrissey, comprising photographs, video and a sound installation, receives its international premiere at Impressions Gallery.

Front, from which the exhibition takes its name, is a series of large scale colour photographs of very different groups of families and friends at various beaches around Britain and Australia.  At first glance they appear to be commonplace holiday snaps from any family album, but on closer inspection, one figure re-appears in every image: that of Morrissey herself in different guises. Working in collaboration with the groups she encounters, Morrissey usurps the mother figure, after whom each image is titled, to explore group identity and the conventions of family photography.

Ideas of Refinement, Principles of Taste
is an enigmatic video work made on location in Australia and shows Morrissey picnicking in a grassy setting, apparently idyllic, but disturbingly fly-infested. The title comes from the obituary of Georgiana McCrae, the wife of a nineteenth century settler, who overcame profound hardships to become the ‘founding mother’ of Melbourne’s cultural community.

There’s You is a sound installation inspired by memories of family holidays on the west coast of Ireland, where Morrissey’s family stayed for the same two weeks in July for twenty years. Upon entering a specially made structure, reminiscent of a life-size beach hut or fisherman’s hut, visitors are immersed in an atmospheric soundtrack of overlapping reminiscences prompted by holiday photos. In this way, the artist invites us to conjure up our own mental images, and explores how the medium of sound can be associated with the photographic image. 

Exhibition resources

Click here to download an information sheet about the exhibition (pdf 408kb)
Click here
to download a large print information sheet about the exhibition (pdf 408kb)


Trish Morrissey’s new publication Front, published by Impressions Gallery is available to buy in the Gallery Bookshop for £7.99. Front is a series of twelve photographs that uses the family group and the beach as metaphors for borders and boundaries; both physical and psychological. Front contains two texts, the first, Passing Strange: Familial Impostors in the Photographs of Trish Morrissey, Pippa Oldfield teases out the notion of 'age-old cultural anxieties about the impostor mother'. The second, The Cuckoo is a fictional short story by Anne McNeill in which the protagonist recounts her childhood after a life changing day a the beach. Click here to read more.

What the papers say

Metro (pdf 520kb)

Rachael Hobson, September 2nd, 2007

Rachael Hobson, September 2nd, 2007

Trish Morrissey

Click on thumbnail below to enlarge

Rachael Hobson, September 2nd, 2007 Hayley Coles, June 17th, 2006 Donna Plant, August 21st, 2005 Still from 'Ideas of Refinement...'


It is only now after three or so short stops with Front that an idea came to mind. Trish Morrisey’s appearances sends up conventional seaside and photography. Memory’s centrality to communication is clearer to me these days. As far as any quantum leap in imaging and auraling go for photography, video and audio in Front the use of these tools grants room for audiences to enjoy their dangers. Are these tools trusted? What for?

I found the photographs a ‘complete’ project and was wondering what Trish felt as she ‘posed’ as another person in another context. Reading the stuff in the ring binder later helped me understand some of the complications of the ‘simple‘ snaps. Self portraits as an impostor, thanks

Exhibitions Visitor

I like the concept, but would have liked to see a portrait with the image of the missing female in the group. interesting and enjoyable exhibition

Exhibitions Visitor

Great stuff it took me a while to realise that ‘she‘ is in every photo- playing a new part in every family shot. the flies on the face made me cringe at first until I read the text, we should all try to remember peoples hardships and bad luck, “enjoyed’

Exhibitions Visitor

I really like the Front photos and it’s interesting how different the same person can look in different contexts, even seeming different ages.

exhibitions visitor