Jennifer Morris

Logan City Gallery

Jennifer Morris's suite of black and white photographs shows her vision of the local landscape, near Thorneside around Moreton Bay. The images are stretched-out tableaux of light and water that render the experience of the intensity of Australian light and heat in a quite tangible and bodily manner. One large photograph bears only two tiny details in the centre of the composition. The work is a radiant field of grey in which it seems there is a glow coming off every particle of light; a minimal work which yet teems with life, vibration and intensity. The work is dazzling and it absolutely connotes the delight and sensuousness and ennui of burning sun on skin, pale eyes almost blinded by brightness, a body near to swooning in the airlessness of a hot, liquid summer day in a radiant white heat in which one is too overwhelmed to move.

One of the most dramatic works in this suite is a slightly smaller format with darker tones of grey; it is tumultuous and emotional, showing a sky in pre-storm conditions with a sunburst-the proverbial calm before the storm. In almost Turneresque fashion, but in the restrained palette of the black and white photograph, Morris utilises the seascape as a vehicle to carry an intensity of affect. It is significant that almost all of her work relates to water - one notable exception being her series on trucks and truckies - and the work has an ability to transport the viewer into wild worlds and cesspools in a credible manner. In contemplating Morris's work one does not feel too far from Ada plummeting to the depths of the sea in The Piano, her foot attached to the offending instrument, or poor little Bess in Breaking the Waves (although Morris rarely photographs figures).

The very few details found in these shimmering fields are the derricks where the container ships unload, standing improbably in the background of the photographs like tiny giraffes or stairways between sea and sky. The initiated can discern glimpses variously of Fisherman's Island (recognisable via the derricks) and Moreton Island  (recognisable via its two-toned sand). All of the works take a different viewpoint - the relationship between sea and sky is always different - and in many a tiny white yacht bobs around.

Morris's technical achievement is considerable in these images. Using 3200 speed film and the silky surface of a fibre-based paper to animate the image, she pushes the limits of the format, enlarging considerably, but taking care that the seascape in question loses nothing of its intensity in the 'translation'. The larger format ensures that the vision is vaster, even more luminous and makes for a greater intensity of experience. Having determined a format which corresponds to her purpose, Morris is now intent upon working with colour toners to integrate a chromatic dimension into the work.