Stephen Morris was born in Smethwick in the West Midlands of England. He attended Moseley Art School, Fircroft College, Marieborgs Folk High School in Sweden and the Universities of Cardiff and Leicester. He worked as a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Art and Design at Wolverhampton University for 17 years and has, for short periods of his life, worked as a social worker and as a journalist. He has had over 60 solo exhibitions of his work as well as a number of group shows and has published 10 books of poetry, a book of short stories and a play.
In 2002 he was made a Companion of the Guild of St George a Society founded by John Ruskin and in 2003 the British Art Medal Society commissioned a medal by him. His poetry has appeared in many newspapers and magazines, including: The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The Sunday Times, Peace News, Twentieth Century Magazine and at one time his worked appeared regularly in The Observer and Tribune. In the nineteen seventies and eightes Morris gave over 1000 performances of his poetry mostly in Europe but also in the U.S.A. South East Asia and in India. He now lives in the South of France where he writes, paints and works as a Sculptor.
I went to an art school when I was thirteen years old. I was a misfit there but I remember having the idealistic notion of myself living in the South of France as an artist. This I now do and I work at my art each day.
Between school and the South of France I lived as a creative artist for most of the time. I have sired four children, experienced two terrible car crashes, fought off cancer, have been politically active, travelled the world, published books, had exhibitions of my work, have been through a divorce, flirted with drugs, slipped into the abyss of alcohol and dragged myself out and have looked for happiness. I read a great deal, watch films, love music and each day is a miracle. So nothing unusual here perhaps but I do live with the paradox of being a socialist and living in a capitalist world.
My life experiences I know are reflected in my work. I believe that art should say something directly. It should challenge, be inspirational, informative and be reflective of our society, sociologically, pyschologically, politically and philosophically. I also feel that some emotional involvement would be ideal but perhaps I ask too much. The artist should also I feel, be able to express himself both verbally and through the written word. Art, in my opinion is too important to be in the hands of installationists, pseudo intellectuals and the untalented.
Wolverhampton City Art Gallery 1972
Liverpool Academy 1974
Canon Hill Arts Centre Birmingham 1975
St Martins Gallery Leicester 1975
Burnley Arts Centre 1976
Belgrade Theatre, Coventry 1977
Keele University Art Gallery 1978
Stirling University Art Gallery 1979
Harlech College Gallery Harlech 1980
Hobbergate Gallery Newcastle under Lyme 1984
Torch Gallery Milford Haven 1985
Peace Centre Antwerpen 1997
Salisbury Museum and Art Gallery 1998
Macclesfield Museum and Art Gallery I997, 2001
Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery 2001 2004
I usually begin my day by taking half and hour of exercise, I then write my daily journal, recording events, what I think about the world and what I am working on. I then eat breakfast, wash and settle into my latest poem. Later I work towards completing five drawings before lunch and for the rest of the day I paint, or sculpt, answer letters, clean and shop, all those survival things. I often have the radio on when working in the studio listening to classical music or modern jazz.
Being a writer and an artist I have learned how to live with myself and within my head. This is not always easy.
Toured the U.S.A, South East Asia, India, Holland, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark and the United Kingdom reading his poetry and lecturing I969-2005
Appointed as a Companion to the Guild of St George 2002
Commissioned to produce a medal for the British Art Medal Society 2004