Freya Douglas-Morris

Selected works by Freya Douglas-Morris

Freya Douglas-Morris
They Visited Twice


Watercolour on paper

70 x 100 cm
The self-effacing quality of Freya Douglas-Morris’s painting They Visited Twice – its thinned watercolour, dribbling in places off the paper; the cursoriness of its description of plants and people; its flattened and simplified tones – shouldn’t be mistaken for slightness. The painting’s strength lies in its uncanny evocation of a past (that non-specificity is significant here: it’s not the past) and its suggestion of the gaps and discontinuities attendant on the act of describing past events. In the work, a pair of figures is seen twice; as the title suggests, they’re perhaps the same figures, their double appearance making the work redolent of medieval paintings. Clad in simple white clothes, black shoes and small red turbans, they appear Indian, but generically so: they’re painted too speedily to be properly characterised.
Freya Douglas-Morris
Dance of the Shadows


Watercolour, ink and collage on paper

55 x 75 cm

The looseness of their description is of a piece with the painting’s title – the vagueness of ‘they’, the openness of ‘visited’ – so that the work becomes a way of embodying the telling of a story from the past; mishearing, generalities and slippages are built in. Landscape (traditionally a motor for narrative, a way of moving things forward) is, here, insubstantial, literally watery, and the blank space of the paper has a kind of obliterating effect, like a blind spot in the memory of the teller.

Text by Ben Street

Freya Douglas-Morris
Exposing themselves to the moonlight like bathers under a midnight sun


Watercolour, collage and pigment on paper

73 x 97 cm


Sunday 2 December, 2012, by Laura Cumming, The Observer

New Contemporaries is old – now into its seventh decade in fact. It started in 1949 as a showcase for art school graduates in the postwar doldrums and over the years has identified many young stars of the future, from David Hockney and Patrick Caulfield in the early 60s to Peter Doig and Mark Wallinger in the early 80s. It is a fine, if controversial, enterprise.

The controversy generally centres on who, rather than what: on who should make the selection from the annual degree shows, and how. Traditionally, the Young Contemporaries (so-called at the beginning) were chosen by older artists and art specialists; the director of the National Gallery was involved in the first show, for instance, and critics and curators had some say for a while.

Freya Douglas-Morris's large watercolour They Visited Twice has real force of personality. Two strangers in a strange land appear twice over: in one vignette they drift like a cloud form in the distance, in the other they are like willow pattern figures, hovering in a floating world of watercolour. With its subtle palette and delicate vision, this is a mysterious reprise of ukiyo-e.


October 2012, by Adams Covell, Celluoid Wicker Man

The melting pot of influences that come into making art are more honestly bore in the work of artists in their early stages. Continuing a look at the work in the New Contemporaries exhibition housed in Copperas Hill, these influences and likenesses seem unavoidable but pleasing to interpret (whether correct or not).
Freya Douglas-Morris’ work follows on well from this, seeming to be involved in similar themes though using a different medium. They Visited Twice and It Took Them Many Days show otherworldly vistas through paint and collage. It Took Them Many Days is the most accomplished painting in the exhibition, with a beautiful attention to shade and it not looking too unlike a Roger Dean artwork. The civilisation appears to be a mere few chimneys in the distance of a world of pale but beautiful colours, again empty of people with emphasis on the landscape.


December 2010, FAD website

Freya Douglas Morris is an extraordinarily fine artist, her work resonates with memories conjured by her travels throughout the world. As a painter what interests Freya is the emotional response that a sublime landscape can produce, which is loaded with personal interpretation.
Freya walks the land, documenting details, mentally and physically (sketches and photographs) records the natural world. An act becomes part of the process of passing through. Back in the studio, she ‘reforms and reinterpret these, into layered images using a mixture of combined memories, which form new, but on the whole recognisable scenes; landscapes into which the viewer can relate but cannot entirely place. I am interested in the ambiguity.’
The work, painted on board contain an uncertain narrative, elements taken from various places, figures are dwarfed by nature and objects are featured to give the viewer clues to the quiet drama taking place. As she states: It is the vastness of space, the sense of areas hidden and forgotten, to which I am drawn. The decaying beauty and contrast between the strength and fragility that these spaces provide. I often include an object, or a suggestion of a past human presence, into which a narrative is hinted, but not entirely understood’.
Fluff is curating an installation for this special exhibition. In order to give the work context, we are including the personal affects of the artist, for instance her shoes that walked in, objects and keepsakes she picked up along the way, diary text recounting her experiences on the road and other travelogue material.