MFA ’16 Fine Arts 2D
Rachel Morrissey’s narrative paintings give form and context to an invisible struggle with mental health, motherhood, fertility, pregnancy and daily life. Her paintings contain recurring imagery of unknowable strange plants as romantic associations for motherhood and fruitfulness, while weeds and vines represent the tension of her ongoing battle with anxiety. This playful balance of colorful imagery evokes seductive properties one moment and strangling vulnerability in the next. The human form is clearly not depicted but its presence is noted through motifs of the body. Morrissey creates these paintings through the lens and history of botanical art with a nod to childhood bedtime stories. She hopes to seduce the viewer into this seemingly colorful, jubilant world, leading them to understand that all is not what is seen above the surface. The motifs and patterns oscillate along the continuum of her experience as a mother finding exuberance, love and joy at one end and utter despair at the other. Morrissey’s work continues to ‘bear fruit’ as she chronicles and interprets the usual and unusual curveballs of life and motherhood through art and imagery. She hopes others will see themselves in her fanciful imaginings.