Beth Morgan is an artist who is interested in the way in which she experiences the natural world around her, and her artistic responses to that experience. Walking is an important part of her practice and informs the painted practice she creates within her studio. The main sites for the walks Morgan undertakes are natural English landscapes: long stretching coastline with an abundance of thriving rockpools, baron moorlands that become transformed with a wealth of heather, and rolling hills leading to craggy rockfaces and idyllic waterfalls. She situates her practice within these natural environments, rejecting the urban and immersing herself within nature and taking in the experience. No photographs are taken during the walks Morgan takes, only notes and quick sketches within her ‘field journal’ that are then used on the return to her studio to prompt a memory or feeling.
Morgan’s creative practice is focused on giving her own personal remembered experience of her walks, and the landscape, visual form. Overly saturated colours, biomorphic shapes and layered forms build up as she recollects her time on specific walks in a particular site, transforming and shifting until it inspires a sculpture. Her paintings and sculptures are complete abstraction yet the shapes become strangely familiar due to their organic nature. She considers the way in which the weather altered the colours around her, how the wind caught a certain leaf or the sun distorted the view in front of her and how tiredness disrupted focus. The more she walks, and the more painterly responses she creates, the more refined her creative practice has become, giving her a greater understanding of the practice of walking and how that informs and encompasses who she is as a creative practitioner.
The artworks are personal to Morgan and her experiences of that particular walk and site, resembling remembered moments only she has experienced. Yet the works themselves – when placed in a gallery setting – take on a whole new phenomenological experience for their new audience and prompt feelings of the strangely familiar as most people will have, at some point in their lives, taken a similar walk in an English landscape.