SAIC: Sally J Morgan and Jess Richards

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Sullivan Galleries
33 S. State St., 7th floor
Performance on Wednesday February 3, at 4:15pm
Sullivan Galleries Open Hours M-S 11am-6pm


Sally J Morgan
Sally J Morgan is an internationally exhibited artist based in New Zealand. Her artwork has been exhibited in France, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, Japan, Ireland, UK, USA, and New Zealand. She has had artworks selected for international festivals: at London’s ICA, at Belluard/Bollwerk Fribourg Switzerland and at the Performance Arcade, New Zealand. Her work is held in a number of collections. In the last year she has given performances at Te Tuhi in Auckland; Deep Anatomy in the Bahamas, and in collaboration with Jess Richards, as Morgan and Richards, she presented at the Mart Gallery Dublin. In 2016 she will perform at the Defibrillator Gallery Chicago as part of the IN>Time Triennial. Morgan is Professor of Fine Arts at Massey University

Jess Richards
Jess Richards is a writer and performance artist. Her debut novel, Snake Ropes, was published by Sceptre in 2012, and was shortlisted for the Green Carnation Prize, the Costa First Novel Award and the Scottish Book Awards. She was awarded residencies at Cove Park in 2013 and at the Ardtornish Estate (in partnership with the Scottish Book Trust) in 2014. Her second novel, Cooking with Bones, was published by Sceptre in 2013/14. She has collaborated with Sally J Morgan on a number of projects, and has had creative writing associated with this cooperation published by the Scottish Book Trust and the UK Sunday Times. She is currently working on her third novel and has recently taken up residence in New Zealand. She is a Massey University Honorary Research Associate.


In May 2015, on Lovers’ Beach, Long Island in the Bahamas, the artist Sally J Morgan and her partner, the writer Jess Richards, performed Morgan’s work: In the Hollow of your Hand in Deep Anatomy, as part of the PSI Fluid States 2015 dispersed symposium.

A visceral childhood memory of near-drowning in shallow water was used as the trigger point for a work that was to become an examination of trust and fear in the context of ‘love’. In this piece two mature women perform in front of a large projection of a video of ‘the Drowning’. In the video Morgan is plunged repeatedly under the water by her lover, Richards. This enactment is disturbing in the conflict between intensity and tenderness, leaving the viewer confronted by an acute sense of voyeurism.

As the performance, Morgan and Richards speak the texts which were written as a consequence of the experience. The resolution of the performance is the enactment of trust, in which the act of drowning without dying is viscerally experienced as an analogy for the relationship of fear to love.

Video directed and edited: Sally J Morgan
Text directed and edited: Jess Richards

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