The Observatory

Two month residency spent in Lymington, England 2015

Salty shuls 4

Salty shuls on Salty Days. Click here for more details.

In November and December 2015, I was artist in residence at The Observatory, an award-winning bespoke building located on the Lymington Salt Marshes in the New Forest National Park. The Observatory was designed to turn in any direction to enable 360 degree observations, simply by turning a wheel. Whilst visitors walked the stunning nature reserve, the Observatory building became a beacon of engagement from all walks of life.

It was important for me to respond to building, place and community; interaction with all three played a vital role to my stay. Living on an old working salt marsh, provided crucial context for research into the local history of salt and its production. Albeit stormy weather throughout, I exchanged gifts of salt for fingerprints from passers-by and created ‘Salty Shuls’ by collecting over 800 fingerprints.

I used elements from the environment to produce artworks that enabled a direct link to the landscape: I collected a ‘black treasure’ of ancient wood, and made my own study of water ripples and a ‘dipped landscape’ using ink that I made using locally-collected ​oak galls. The direct dialogue between the Observatory building itself and the outside elements of the nature reserve inspired me to colour-match the sky and water every day with a 27 year-old Dulux colour chart.

For artist residency blog click here.

Dipped Landscape

Dipped landscape 1

Artist-made ink on paper. 94 x 33 cm. 2016

Watching Ripples

Artist made ink, graphite, staples, thread, cloth and paper, 60 x 85cm, 2016

Remnants of a Pirate Ship

Collected (old) wood, wax, & entomology pins on board, 85 x 35 cm, 2016

Short Film

Short Film – Jilly Morris – Observatory Artist in Residence

Each resident artist had a small film produced of their experience, documenting the artist’s time spent in residence at the Observatory in Lymingon, 2015


Jilly at Observatory
Photograph: Patrick Kirkby

Salty Days

A blog documenting Jilly’s residency experience

Click here to view blog.