“I just play”
This is what Maurice Orr tells me over and over again, in relation to his work.
Each and every piece is personal.
Each and every piece, and the experience of creating it, means something to him.
From learning monotype printing through a residency in Canada, to sourcing fish skins, a bi-product that would be otherwise discarded, and incorporating them into his work to create a sensory experience for the visually impaired, Maurice is always developing and growing as an artist.
The pieces with the latter technique were commissioned as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and one now hangs in the visitor centre at The Giant’s Causeway.
Maurice tells me about his residency in Banff, Canada. He painted several pictures of the forests and an eminent person from the First Nations community told him he’d captured the spirit of their ancestors. Maurice said there was no higher compliment she could have paid him.
Maurice uses oils and a palette knife to create his work. His landscapes are intended to convey an atmospheric quality, encourage the viewer to look at and explore the spirit of the landscape.
They’re beautiful. All of them. I tell Maurice over and over again and significantly overuse the word ‘amazing’. Maurice tells me that he’s not as good as a lot of artists he knows. He tells me about artists he’s worked with and jokes that he hates them because of their talents.
I felt so lucky to stumble across Maurice’s studio on a visit to Northern Ireland and even luckier to spend an afternoon listening to him talk about his work. He also furnished me with several cups of coffee and a delicious cake, as the wind and rain raged outside of the studio door. Here are a few pictures from my visit.