Verbal presents a new exhibition by Derry artist Locky Morris opening on Friday, February 15 at 6pm. It runs until March 29, 2019.


Walls as structures, it must be said, are generally humourless things.

At best they are essential parts of our sheltering structures or (often around here) they were, or are, used as dividing lines between people and places, communities and cultures.

There is something also indescribably old about them, even if they were constructed only recently. They hark back to the past, to the primal fear of the other and, as we have witnessed recently, they are used by unscrupulous politicians as a tool of border and people (that are considered ‘undesirable’) control.

Stature and insignificance

However, walls as a concept are also ridiculous. Their attempts at stature and seriousness are easily mocked and undermined by some kid with a spray can.

Their notions of permanence subverted by time itself and at odds with the ‘instant’ social media-led world we find ourselves part of whether we like it or not.

It’s entirely appropriate therefore that Locky Morris’s photographic dissection of the very walls of Derry undermines their concepts of stature and the monumental with a wryly humorous approach exploring their everydayness and the detritus of the interaction between (wo)man and masonry.

Shapes and shadows

The fact that these photographs originated as an Instagram project pitted their instantaneity against the ‘permanence’ of structure. The abandoned fast-food cartons strewn around our walls, the graffiti scrawled upon them tell us more than the guides and official documents ever could.

Morris also echoes art history and we see in the shapes and shadows within his photographs the resonance of modernist painting. The artist references this with typical humour of course.

It is also gratifying in a time where everything has become ‘virtual’ we see photos that originated in the digital world return to the real. Not with the hipsterish pseudo-seriousness of the ‘rebirth of vinyl’ but with a vitality and liveliness typical of the artist. 

Walking the Walls - Part 3

#theverywalls is the third part of Verbal's 'Walking the Walls' series of exhibitions.

These exhibitions, curated by Gregory McCartney, articulate alternative approaches to and explorations of Derry's famous Walls. 

Image: Locky Morris

This exhibition is supported by Derry City and Strabane District Council's Walled City – 400 Years Event Funding.

Arts Council NI/Big Lottery logo  Derry & Strabane District Council  Walled City 400 logo