Morris Nitsun is a South African-born artist who has lived in the UK since 1968. An internationally renowned and published psychologist and psychotherapist, he has developed in parallel a successful career as a painter. Many of the paintings derive from travels in Britain and abroad and a sense of place or atmosphere is often reflected in his work. HIs work features in collections worldwide.
We spoke to Morris about what inspired him to pick up a paintbrush and his passion with regards his art.
“I realised from a young age that I had a passion and a talent for drawing. However, it wasn’t until my early twenties that I started to paint seriously; I found I was really drawn and attracted to mid-20th Century painting and it’s strong painterly qualities, which has definitely influenced my style.”
Morris began studying psychology at university which led to his eminent career in psychology.
We asked him what has constantly brought him back to his painting, and how he has blended the two elements of his creative practice and psychotherapy practice together:
“I love the colours, textures and magic that paint can create, but I also enjoy the element of surprise associated with painting; the accidental happenings and the wonder of a coherent image as it occurs.”
“The convergence of my artwork and psychotherapy practice is a recent concept. It has only been over the last two years that the two practices have converged, however I still remain both a psychotherapist and an artist distinctively as separate entities. I have been using online presentations of my paintings, inviting groups of people to resonate to the images and themes as a way of amplifying the convergence.”
Creativity and Wellbeing
“I feel that expressions of creativity are extremely important for wellbeing; as I believe that creativity brings a sense of play, active imagination and productivity which strengthen wellbeing, which can be seen in the Covid Lockdowns. Much of people’s feelings of fear and helplessness have been offset by people outpouring creativity.”
“I have used my additional time during the Lockdown period to create a body of work entitled The Deserted City which explores my feelings in relation to what was happening in Europe, and my anxieties regarding damage and loss.”
The Power of Creativity.
“The driving force behind my creative practice is the pursuing of the exciting new ideas and themes that have entered my painting as a result of the convergence mentioned earlier. Creating original work spurs me on, but above all, expressing myself as fully as possible as an artist is the most important force behind my creative practice.”
“Lockdown has been a stimulus for a period for intense creativity for me, and I believe that I have adapted well to the changes imposed on us all during 2020. These changes stimulated a renewed awareness of nature, experienced during regular long walks in the woods and by the sea which have led to moments of profound awareness, and even transformation.”
It has been a joy working with Morris over the past few months, we asked him to reflect on how being part of the SOL Design Community has helped.
“I started receiving invitations from SOL Design Collective through AOH, and have found the online seminars stimulating and informative. My personal work with Jan has been supportive and encouraging. I hope to use the SOL Design Collective platform as a way of promoting my online art-psychology presentations.”
Upcoming talk and what’s in store for 2021?
“With regards to my next steps, I intend to continue both psychotherapeutic practice and painting, but with an increasing emphasis on their convergence. I’m a published writer, and I’m hoping to put some of this in a book.”
“I have several online events in the pipeline, both in the UK and abroad. This includes a presentation on ‘The Deserted City’ to a group of Dutch colleagues in November 2020, and presentations in early 2021 of both my Doll Paintings and the Deserted City themes to Psychotherapy Sussex (a large local organisation that runs it’s own Arts Forum).”
“Closer to home, though, I will be “in conversation” at one of the FREE Creative Coffee Morning events for SOL Design Collective on 9th December, where I will be talking about my latest body of work Deserted City – an Artists response to Covid.”
I do hope that you can join us online.
We are excited to be in conversation with Morris Nitsun on 9th December, as part of our Online Creative’s Coffee Morning series. You are invited to join us. You can reserve your FREE ticket within Eventbrite here.
If you would like to see more of Morris’s work, you can find his website here. Some of Morris’s previous presentations can also be found on YouTube.