In this body of work a long-standing interest in the dynamic relationship between South African landscape and urban youth culture unfolds.
I began to see land as a constant in the events of history. During my research at Rhodes University, I felt a sense of nostalgia as I considered landscape and how it has been depicted in canonical art history and, in turn, my connection to this as a South African. This work references the lineage of Land Art, which includes Bushman art, the idealistic, uninhabited, ready-to-conquer landscapes of Piet Pierneef, the Grahamstown group lead by Noel Hodnett, Gerard Sekoto, and, also, European movements inspired by primitivist aesthetics. Production of art in South Africa became a symbol for the progression of time and the unfolding of history. I find interest in searching for what is permissible and relevant as South African landscape painting through situating myself in relation to this narrative. Much has changed yet has stayed the same.
“Through natural and intuitive painting Morton shows sensitivity to the history of South African landscape painting as well as critical awareness of land as singularly constant in a world governed by change”
- Jenifer Ball
Anthony Morton has recently finished his BFA at Rhodes University in which he majored in painting. Morton was brought up going on hikes in the Drakensberg with his father which later gave birth to him thinking about how memory and nostalgia constitute ones ideals of generic landscape painting of South African nature scenes. Morton is preparing to spend this year drawing in Beijing as well as researching traditional Chinese print.
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