First published:Spring 2006
Raymond Morris, poet and artist, has always found his art can both heal and threaten. At times he is able to cleanse himself of the spirits that can haunt him, at others he withdraws completely from expression because the very act of opening himself up to his innermost thoughts and emotions leaves him vulnerable to forces that can injure him. Believing that art killed Van Gogh, Morris flies in defiance of the accepted maxim that art can always heal. When he is able to create his paintings and drawings, they reflect the spiritual presence that is never far from his personality.
Poetry holds an important role for him. He expresses himself with sound, making his own improvised poetic recordings, as well as incorporating poetry in his visual work. One work comprises of scores of small poems constructed on sticks alongside toy animals which are set along the top edge of his painting. At other times the words completely dominate and take over the picture. Raymond Morris remains on the edge, out of the limelight, one of London’s unique Outsiders.