Following the death of his wife, Ramona, in November 2018, Desmond Morris is leaving his home in Oxford and moving to County Kildare in Ireland to live close to his family there. He says: ‘Starting a new life at the age of 91 is something of a challenge but I am looking forward to it and hope to be able to start writing and painting again as a soon as I have settled in.'
On 20th January 2020 he completes a suite of new oil paintings. On 3rd February the directors of the Beaux Art Gallery in London visit him in Ireland to select the works for his solo exhibition at their gallery, planned for June 2020. In March he is interviewed by The Irish Times about his new life in Co. Kildare.
This is the last outside contact he has before the coronavirus pandemic leads to a national lock-down. At the age of 92 he is classed as ‘most vulnerable’ and remains in his home, with supplies brought to him by members of his family. His reaction to the confinement is to spend more time in his studio working on a series of paintings, and more time in his study writing books. With nothing to distract him, by October he has completed 75 new paintings and written four new books. Many of the paintings are sent to England for two exhibitions, one at the Beaux Arts Gallery in London, from October to December (postponed from June because of the covid virus epidemic), and the other at the Rona Gallery in Oxford, in December.
In December 2020 he also buys a property near Dublin, which will become an Institute of the Visual Arts, housing two galleries and two art lecture rooms. It will be his legacy, as a gift to Ireland for welcoming him in his final years.