Simon Morriss Waiting for the last bus home - acrylic

“Waiting for the Last Bus Home”

Simon Morriss, 2012, Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 160 cm


This painting is a reflection on the discussion between Rowan Williams and Richard Dawkins chaired by Sir Anthony Kenny at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford in February 2012.

Fundamentally it is about a conversation. Although anyone who knows something of the views of Richard Dawkins and Rowan Williams will have their own preference, this painting is not about taking sides.  Both protagonists are painted in the same way, wearing the same colour and given the same value as an equal part of humanity. The runs of paint in the acrylic indicate the lack of hold we all have on earthly existence and its transitory nature: the last bus a tentative means of reaching an unspecified destination.

 However, within the discussion, the meanings ascribed to existence are very different. It is not just the difference between Christianity and atheism, but also perceived incongruities between science and religion and philosophically the difference between materialism and a form of idealism.  These underlying assumptions about the world have implications for our lives and the society we create: the conversation is to question them, attempt to make them explicit and understand them as best we can.

I have found the meaning of the painting continues to emerge through interpretation from the process of its creation and beyond, and my hope is that it might act as a primer for dialogue.


Simon Morriss (www.simonmorriss.com)