‘This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of my brother, Stuart Morris, 1972-2009.’
This was something I’d added to my introduction to ‘Stolen Car’ on Saturday.
I had just greeted a few friends, who had arrived for the afternoon private view, when a visitor to the show, a fairly elderly man in glasses, came out of the gallery and approached me holding the printed introduction.
‘So how did you brother die?’ he asked.
‘He died of cancer,’ I replied, although somewhat taken aback.
‘The paintings are very dark…..is that related?’
‘Well….they represent the night that he died and my memories of that. This is where I was the night he died as I went to see him for the last time. I was driving under these motorways, which I’ve known all my life, to his house just beyond’.
He looked at me.
‘It’s such a vivid memory…’
‘…..and ever since I’ve felt compelled to record my memories of that night in some way. I’ve thought about writing about it, or something like that, just for myself…but anyway…I mean I’ve tried painting about my feelings in lots of other ways but not really come close, it was only once I’d painted about the fifth of these motorway paintings that it struck me that here I was, telling the story of that night. It was quite a shock, but there you go. It can happen like that’.
‘They are certainly powerful pictures’,
‘Thanks. I’m glad you think so.’
‘Do you mind if I take it with me?’ he asked, waving the introduction in his hand.
‘No, no, please do…’
As he went merrily on his way, I was feeling slightly dazed. I was left wondering, how come I ended up telling all that to a complete stranger?