Simon Morley

I find them curiously alluring, those mute and unopenable caskets, like books found on the shelves of an old rectory or school library, in colours - particularly those 'English' greens - both confident and a little forlorn. Somehow the words and colours manage to both obliterate and reinforce each other, setting up a palpable if faint charge that transmits to the viewer (to this viewer at least) both sensory recollection and historical loss. What is recalled, what is lost, is a concern of my own (although by a different route) - but I feel in this series that he has effectively concentrated that tension into a space - a series of paintings - whose presence is haunted by absence, and whose absence is haunted by presence.

1685503-1156701-thumbnail.jpgA History of the English Speaking Peoples, 2006, oil on canvas. From Simon Morley's 'The English Series' (Art First Contemporary Art, ends Nov 16)