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Paul Morrison
Asplenium, 2010

People in a bright cafe space. There is a long wooden table and lots of windows.

Photography: Andy Stagg

Paul Morrison’s Asplenium is an acrylic paint and 24 carat gold leaf mural. The work is installed in the SLG café, South London Louie, at 67 Peckham Road. Taking source material from his extensive collection of botanical drawings, Paul Morrison renders an extraordinary combination of outsized plant life in gold leaf, furthering the play on interior and exterior views which characterises the space where it is shown.

The mural was originally commissioned in 2010 for the exhibition Nothing is Forever at the South London Gallery. The exhibition celebrated the completion of the SLG’s £2 million building project which expanded the site at 65 Peckham Road into a formerly derelict house next door. The extension project included the café, the Clore Studio and Fox Garden.

Nothing is Forever brought together wall paintings, drawings and text pieces by 20 British and international artists. Seamlessly integrating art and architecture, each work was destined to be embedded in the fabric of the buildings when painted over at the end of the show. The exhibition took visitors through the SLG’s new and existing spaces with a variety of approaches to making art directly on the walls. The success of Paul Morrison’s work was such that the SLG went on to acquire it for its permanent collection with generous support of the Contemporary Art Society.