What Makes an Artist: Ross Morgan – Progressive Surrealist

Growing up in rural South Australia, this now Adelaide-based artist describes himself as observant, apprehensive and explorative.

Ross draws inspiration from childhood memories of ‘exploring the farm filled with interesting creatures, spaces, old machinery and historical objects’ as he weaves a depth of timeless narratives into his works of art. A visual storyteller in his own right, Ross’s artworks take the viewer on a journey through each layer and hidden aspect. Ross’s latest hidden component is comprised of text; speech and movie transcripts incorporated into portraits using typewriters to continue his narrative of times that have past.


One of the typewriters Ross uses for his artworks.

“I play and combine a number of different processes and techniques including sketching, design drawing, experimental painting, tonal realism, working from life, model making, photographic reference and text. I hunt for something unexpected,” Ross says of his work.

Ross’s home studio in the inner suburbs of Adelaide is unexpected in itself. A quietly humble retreat from the hustle of the streets is where Ross creates his larger works. More recently he has opened his own gallery and studio in the historic Adelaide Arcade with the help of his wife, Jo. Both spaces are a representation of his artistic process, where a beautifully illustrated story has emerged from the expansive depths of a creative space. His works seems simple from the outset, however further analysis reveals a much more complex story line. “I create my artworks with the hope of generating a conversation,” says Ross.


Ross in his home studio.

Beginning his studies in architecture, Ross soon realised visual arts was the path he was meant to be on. “I found myself loving the conceptual part of architecture and design, but for some reason I was never good at finalising an idea or applying it in a practical definitive outcome. I ended up spending way too much time exploring ideas that I found myself exhausted of time and energy and unable to complete something I was completely satisfied with. I like that within visual art you can explore an idea and not necessarily come to any conclusion, the outcome is generally not as important as the journey.”


Elephant in the Tub by Ross Morgan

Ross’s upcoming exhibition is an artistic reflection of the journey his architecture studies and memories of childlike explorations of spaces has taken him. “The exhibition is titled The Architect. In some ways the theme is quite personal. At the time, I was quite disappointed in myself that I found studying architecture such a challenge and could not continue. Parts of it were extremely rewarding and influential.


Deliverance by Ross Morgan

“However, I now realise that the journey I have taken within visual arts has made me understand design, composition and space in a completely different way. With that in mind I decided it would be a good time to revisit the idea of the architect as an artist rather than a designer I felt I was back then. As a child I really enjoyed creating and exploring my own spaces out of found objects such as furniture or bedding or junk and trees. This series of artworks is also an exploration of that world as an adult,” explains Ross.


Ross working on a painting for his upcoming exhibition, ‘The Architect’.

Ross says he “looks forward to creating more of the unexpected” in the future, as we wait in earnest to view the visually stunning components of his next story.

Visit Ross’s exhibition, The Architect, opening in Adelaide on Friday 29th April at 6pm.

Buy Ross Morgan’s art online Bluethumb here.

Keep up to date with the Australian and international art scene and discover new artists by signing up to our newsletter here.

What Makes an Artist: Stephanie Harris and her Journey into Abstractionism

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *