Blake Prize entry

September 30, 2015

This is my entry and artists statement for the Blake Prize. The Prize aims to encourage contemporary artists of disparate styles, religious and spiritual allegiances to create significant works of art which engage in relevant conversations and negotiations.


Nick Morris Artist Statement: God Knows What You Know

I grew up in Ballarat during the time of the child sexual abuse that is currently the focus of the Royal Commission. George Pell was my football coach and resident priest at my primary school and some of the victims of sexual abuse were also in my class at secondary school. The George Pell I once knew seemed like a good man who had only the best intentions.

I don’t know what George Pell knows. That is between him and his God.

If he was aware of the abuse as Episcopal Vicar for Education, and his response was to allow the movement paedophile priests and brothers to other communities to re-offend, that would be one of the greatest crimes a human could commit against other humans.

If this is the case, I believe there will be a reckoning. If not in this life, In the next.

Is Pell really convinced that he did the right thing? If he knew what was happening, that is hard to believe.

Would Jesus be so busy protecting ‘his church’ and his position within that ‘church’ that he would condemn others to a life of absolute hell in the process and allow it to keep happening over and over again?

Whatever George Pell does or does not know about these terrible crimes, he looks like a tortured soul dealing with such a gruesome mess and this is what I have attempted to capture in my portrait.

I cannot help but have empathy George Pell in this situation. However….. If he knew the truth about what was happening at the time, that would rapidly turn to absolute disbelief that a human under the guise of spirituality could make those choices.

I hope for all concerned that George Pell is still the good man I once knew.