Comparative Anatomies

The work evolves from a fictional premise of a collection of twelve oddly formed heart specimens. Each heart is particularly distorted as if a lifetime of emotional experience has left physical imprints -- distensions, mutations, unrestrained growth and scars -- on the intimate surface of the organ.

Joey Morgan, Comparative Anatomies


  • JoeyMorgan 01heart600px
  • JoeyMorgan 05heart600px
  • JoeyMorgan 03heart600px



  • JoeyMorgan 04heart600px
  • JoeyMorgan 06heart600px
  • JoeyMorgan 09heart600px

(click image to enlarge)     


I’m on the dark blue couch with an alarm bell. It fits in my hand like a heart, but it's white and made of
flexible plastic of heavy rubber. If I disturb it, it goes off.

I hold it, it’s breathing, almost alive.

For a while it’s OK, but then I want to put it back in its box. I have to punch in a code to deactivate it, but I make
mistakes and the alarm starts to go off.

The works were first sculpted in clay, then scanned, covered with layers of digital painting, output as photographs and then applied as surface to a final sculptural form. They are presented as formal portraits, sometimes accompanied byt groupings of related fragments and a large projection with muti-layered sound, cross-referencing Victorian mementos, medical specimens, and pixillated abstractions.

(true) science and {comparative || anatomies} are two parts of a 10-year investigation into the persistence of The Romantic Condition.


(2002) Deus Ex Machina
, Bradley University, single image only, Bradley Illinois.

(2005) University of Sherbrooke.
curated by Johanne Broulliet, catalog essay by Marie Perrault, press release by Johanne Broulliet (catalog)

(2006), Darling Foundry, Montréal Canada,
director Caroline Andrieux, guest curated with exhibition essay by Manon Blanchette

(2008) À la Croisée de l'Art et de la Medicine, Galerie d'Art du Centre Culturel, Bishop University and University of Sherbrooke, Canada, curated by Marie-France Beaudoin (catalog)

(2009) For Emily [Dickinson], MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan, curated by Tim Long,
(single portrait with suite of 24 pieces / True Science, acquired for permanent collection)

Marie Perrault,
from essay in the University of Sherbrooke exhibtion catalog: "...At first glance, presented side by side on a red wall, the twelve portraits constitute a uniform series, but if we linger just a little, everything that brings unity to the series also highlights significant differences among its elements. The repetition of the images and their similar presentation trigger a play of association and comparison where the identification of details, seemingly banal at first, ushers the perception of their infinite variation from one photograph to the next, until another detail grabs our attention and initiates the process of recognition all over again. ..."

Manon Blanchette, from text accompanying the exhibition at the Darling Foundry in Montréal: "...The body of work is in fact quite spectacular. Joey Morgan presents the state of her reasoning by exhibiting a collection of digital photographs of hearts, each one as different as the other. Marked by emotional experiences, sometimes leaving scars, these hearts also present themselves as organs in stages of mutation. They call to mind both the vegetal and mineral universe. However each specimen can be perceived as a metaphor of the human existence, a portrait of a life lived...