Skip to main content

Francis Morland

Born 1934, Munsley, Norfolk.

Studied at the Central School of Art from 1951 to 1952 and the Slade School of Fine Art from 1954 to 1956.

Morland made an early impact in the 1960s and was featured in the exhibition ’26 Young Sculptors’ at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London in 1961 and included alongside the emerging generation of Pop artists in the ‘New Generation’ show at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1966. He was also in ‘New British Sculpture’, an outdoor exhibition in Bristol organised by the Arnolfini Gallery in 1968 and given a solo exhibition at the Axiom Gallery in London the following year.

He taught sculpture at St Martin’s School of Art in 1963, which was when he adopted resin-bound fibreglass as the material for his work in preference to bronze, and became Head of Sculpture at Norwich School of Art in 1968.

His artistic career, however, suffered a fatal setback due to a decision to pursue a more lucrative source of income, joining forces with a notorious drug dealer, sometimes using his hollow fibreglass art works to smuggle drugs across national boundaries. He received jail sentences of eight years in America in 1972 and nine years in the UK in 1991. In the early 2000s Morland was serving a further sentence during which he was able to obtain day release to work with a potter and started to produce ceramic sculptures - some of these, with a version of Kiss from 1966 and Composition in Red from 1967, were included in the 'Hallucination Generation' exhibition at the Arnolfini Gallery in 2006.

Kiss