I’m not really sure on how to construct this intro, as this latest interview is with my younger brother, Scott Morrison, or Boy as I call him. To put it simply, I am a big fan. He makes me really proud. I admire his way of, and approach to life. Some call him a dreamer but I actually see him as someone who just knows what he likes to do and does it, despite the opinions of others. He’s a creative soul, in a real purist sense, and some of the installations and exhibits I’ve been to I really struggle to explain to friends, and reading below I think he finds the same challenge. It’s really made me question why does everything need a label, a definition or a meaning, that’s what I got out of our chat, do we have to pursue a reason for everything in life, or is the process the way to understand?
L: What would you call a passion?
S: It’s intrinsic in you. A passion is something you inherently think about without having to push yourself. It’s on your mind, you go to it. Whatever it is, be it people, nature, sports, art, it’s something that occupies your time in a positive way. I see time as a commodity, so if you have a passion it’s something you need to or want to put your time in to. We live our lives 24/7 so with all the balances you need something to satisfy you in the time you have.
L: So how do you create time to do your passion?
S: I don’t sleep as much as I should? Seriously, I have to make allowances. I currently work full time but the creative work is my passion, and that’s all after traditional working hours. If I saw this as a job it would affect I’m guessing the spirit of how I approach my creative work, which has never modelled itself as a financial entity by any means. I make time around how I support myself, but as I keep the juggle, opportunities for income have started to reveal themselves. I’m slowly starting to get there, but it feels as though on my terms. I designate time to myself to create, produce and then execute the performances or installations. I don’t need much money, and have set myself up to not have financial commitments. But this can all come at a cost, I could be going out for nice dinners, catching up with friends more, but I need to make balanced decisions about how to use my time.
L: Do you put a lot of planning into it? Or does the time allowance come easily, does it feel like a sacrifice?
S: No, going to my job feels like the sacrifice sometimes! Wanting to go out on a boozing afternoon when I know I have a deadline is hard to say no to! It’s tricky, each time I think I’ll take a break another project comes up, and because I work so hard to keep the projects going the more I think I am going to get some downtime, but the more I do the more it results in more projects. It’s a never ending loop, but it’s great because it keeps me working with different people and learning new things, and making new things. I don’t actually have a clear idea of what I am doing as a planned outcome, I am just doing it. I also know I can’t stick myself in a hole and not see the world as that is when I start to become a weirdo, I think its important to still connect with people socially. It’s a constant juggle, and I am getting better at it and my ways of working. I know what I can achieve in a night and how long a task takes.
L: Would you say you take a planned approach or a go with the flow approach to life?
S: I feel like my art is pretty much full time as well, and all I need to do is structure the time. Once I have the time set aside, to actually make the work, to shoot, record sounds, it becomes completely go with the flow. I immerse myself in the creative process. It may sound restrictive, but it’s not, it allows me to tap into my instinct. When I am out and about in day-to-day life I go with the flow, I don’t get fazed about much.
L: So can you define your passion?
S: Focusing on what I do, making what I do better, and expanding on what I do. Perhaps it’s expressed as ‘abstractions of found video and sound content’. I just go out into nature, shoot it and recreate it into something. I make films about grass…
L: You just did it! If you’re even happy calling it a ‘passion’ that is…
S: It’s a constant battle to define, I don’t really know why I do what I do. I just know it’s something I really enjoy, I enjoy the process and I enjoy spending time doing it. I enjoy playing with cameras, sounds, exploring them and experimenting with them. I get a lot of internal satisfaction and I feel calm when making my works. It often feels really egotistical setting it up in a gallery and making people watch it, sending it to festivals, it’s weird. I can’t quantify it. I can’t give a reasoned answer to why I do what I do. I just do it. It allows me to travel around the country, go overseas, meet like-minded people, and experience great opportunities. My original interest in playing with images has turned into something I get more out of.
L: You told me how you were thinking about your 12 year-old self the other day…
S: Yeah, I was reflecting back to me at age 12 looking ahead at me now, and if I would think that what I am doing now is cool. I looked around my studio, all my cameras and equipment and thought my 12 year old self would think, you’ve got heaps of toys and you’re doing pretty cool shit. He’d be proud.
L: What led you to this point with your art? Did it start when you were a kid?
S: I grew up in a rural country area, but I was an inside kid. I liked watching films and playing Nintendo rather than running around with horses and being outdoors. I always liked the escape that films, comic books and music offered. When I thought about what I want to do for work I knew it was something in that context. Rather than film school I went to an art school, that in itself blew my head away as I was exposed to new themes, thinking, people, ideas, being able to experiment, make mistakes and develop things, it was great. It was a natural progression to where I am now, but I never thought I would be doing this. Weirdly, the kind of locations and spaces I now work in and film are where I grew up. I can go back and I have all these ways of documenting things and playing with them, now I love spending time in rural areas and nature. It wasn’t until I was in my mid 20s that I felt like my work has my own voice, my own vibe. I was getting more response, more shows, more interest. I was finding my own language and that was what kept me going.
L: So if you project into the future and look at your 40 year-old self, what would you be doing?
S: I don’t want to say, I don’t want to know. Not because it’s a secret. In my mid 20s when I started this, I had three things I needed to achieve. My deadline was by the time I’m 30. If not, I would have to reconsider things, as by then I would be an ‘adult’. I realised when I was about 28-29 that I had achieved these things and more. I found that very interesting. I recently turned 30, I want to allow life to remain organic and take on experiences and opportunities as they arise, and keep some loose goals. I just try year on year and project on project to improve. I don’t really know exactly where it’s going. As long as I am going upwards and onwards that’s okay. This process works for me.
L: What gives you the momentum? I have a hunch it’s about being present, rather than a long-term vision?
S: Yeah, that’s right, I don’t like to be too dependent or focused on the future. I also go back to previous things I may have filmed ages ago and use that for new projects. It’s like everything builds on the next thing. That’s what the momentum is, to keep growing with each new project, as I make them.
L: You use a range of experiences to influence your output, what are some of the experiences you seek? Do you actively seek out experiences to inspire you?
S: I’ll go to location without a plan of what I want to capture. I will get a feeling or just want to go somewhere and spend time there, to document it. I don’t really know exactly what will happen. I want to explore it. The process of capturing content is just about being in the space. I allow myself the time to find what is there, I don’t set a shot list of what I need to capture to make a work, it is the reverse. For instance, in one piece of work I shot three hours worth of grass footage and only used 9 seconds of it. It’s one of those funny, crazy things. As is the way with life experiences too, I find different things I am thinking about will reveal themselves as I make the work. I wouldn’t be thinking about an experience, emotion, like relationships and suddenly it appears in a work, it’s like a self-realisation.
L: So would you say your art is part of your processing as a person?
S: For sure. It’s not like I am putting my heart on my sleeve as a way of telling people how I feel. I noticed an old work I did about trees a while later represented a relationship, and I was like, ‘what the hell! What does that have to do with it?’ It was weird, but that wasn’t my intention for it at all, but it was a sign of closure for me too.
L: As someone who is really clear about what you love to do, what tip would you give someone seeking something that gives as much satisfaction?
S: Something really practical, if you’re musing and so forth, it’s tricky. They need to be proactive. Find something that’s going to make you enjoy life, rather than you spending time thinking about it. Look at things you’re not getting, then facilitate something for that. All the people that talk about what they want to do, and should do – they need to just get on and do it. Some people often get hulled up in thinking the doing is the hard part, it’s not, it’s the best part.
L: How much does the opinion or thoughts of others affect you doing what you love?
S: Most of my mates think what I do is weird art but they are very accepting of it. I’m lucky that I have a good scope of friends. I have the ones that pull me up for being a hermit and the same ones get what I do, engage with it, so it’s a nice balance. Some people are confused why I do what I do, and I just let them know I have deadlines and I’m doing what I love. I used to ask myself ‘why, what is the point?’ Everyone gets that every now and then, a bit of doubt and checking yourself, a downer day. Then other days, I feel ‘this is awesome, I am installing a new show in three days, travelling somewhere to play a show’, its cool stuff. I just can’t answer it, I just accept that I love it and do it.
L: As what you’re passionate about has evolved over so many years, do you see a difference before and after?
S: Not so much. What I do in a creative sense needs consistency. It’s just my situation that has changed, where I live, how I support myself. The consistency has been the growth, that’s what has given me the structure.
L: Has there been moments where you can’t do your work, and have you seen a difference in yourself?
S: There are times where I can’t do anything, and I appreciate that is part of the creative process. You feel like you’re bashing your head against the wall and not getting anything done. I also have times where I am not actually in the production process, say I may need a break after a show, but I do find myself still thinking about it, so it is quite constant. What I have to do, what I want to do, it doesn’t actually stop.
L: Do you believe people need to make money from doing what they love?
S: No. I think for a lot of people they need to work for a reason, and it may not be your passion, but you need to find time for what you care about, whether it’s your family, being in nature, photography, it’s so variable. If you can and it works for you, it’s great. I would love to do this full time, but then I need to sell work, keep getting grants, it’s a different hustle that gets harder. I think I’d prefer to slowly chip away at it, and maybe one day it’ll happen. At the moment I’m not focused on the finances of this.
L: What have you learnt about yourself?
S: It’s a constant process. Experiencing, digesting, realising all different things. It’s made me who I am rather than me knowing who I am.
So if you’re interested in seeing what Scott’s art is all about, you can check out his website here, which has some details on current shows coming up, as well as some footage of what he has filmed and exhibited in the past. To immerse yourself in a performance is pretty amazing stuff.