“Painting is about externalising the speech of the inner voice; addressing and expressing the soul, allowing the significance of within to have space outside and to exist as part of our tactile, physical reality.” Georgia Rose Murray uses the subconscious to form coherent narratives for paintings. She clarifies its messages by analysing and depicting them in conjunction with her subjective experiences, through the act of painting. The content of Murray’s paintings and the techniques used to express the narratives are equally important. Powdered pigments mixed with oil paints and a base of white or black household gloss, applied with expressive brush strokes to boards, are the core components of her paintings. Aesthetica spoke to Murray to find out more about her influences, and the inner workings of her creations.
A: Firstly, what are your main influences?
GRM: All that I subjectively experience, research about the universe and subconsciously process. Travel, exploration and learning are all important elements of life which contribute to my internal studio practice. Spending time inside my studio, running, climbing mountains and practising yoga are all important in helping me reach meditative trance states. These provide optimum space within my core to process and make connections, which are key to forming narratives for paintings.
A: Are you influenced by any artists/creators? If so, who?
GRM: Discovering great paintings is exciting and inspires my desire to move painting further. Fra Angelico, Goya, early Chinese dynasty landscape painters, Casper David Friedrich, Turner, Paul Nash, Chagall, R.B. Kitaj, Rauschenburg, Abstract Expressionists, Clemente, Hockney, Lucy McKenzie, Bob McGuilvray.
A: What is Art to you?
GRM: Art is sublime. For me Art cannot be learnt or read about. The core essence of paintings cannot be explained and must be personally experienced. Art involves the whole being and intuitional sensibility of feeling. Pure art comes from direct experience and an honest communication in the most succinct way possible. Art is great expression conveyed from inside the artist, to inside the painting (artwork,) and felt inside the viewer. Art has an energetic aura and happens when the artist feels ultimate freedom and also remains true in form to their core processes. Art is when you see something that you could not imagine altering in anyway. Art affects your state of being.
A: You use a fantastic range of colour, incorporating a vibrant and bright contemporary technique and application within your works. What made you want to explore colour in this way? Do you feel colour forms an immediate attraction for the viewer?
GRM: Colour is a key tool of communication for me. I use it as an indicator of and important vessel to express emotion. Viewers of my artwork respond to the vivacity of my paintings and feel uplifted by the extensive colour range.
I collect pigments as I travel around the world and those pigments become significant when translating the atmospheres and exotic ambiances of my experiences.
I feel deep contentment as I perceive the world and identify colours and recognise patterns, tonal variation and combinations of hues in natural forms. Seeing intoxicates me with the purest excitement and charges the motivation to understand what I experience, and to learn to translate it in relation to my current themes.
A: Much of your work explores self-portraiture. Can you explain your use of “the self” in your works?
GRM: I use myself as a starting point to contemplate the world and to gauge how elements of life can be affected by universal happenings. The inclusion of a representation of myself in paintings (whether it be traditionally depicted, abstractly represented (areas of colour/ shapes) or paralleled through the form of an animal), provides a base point and context from which to explore and contemplate the painted world-scapes I create. Painting is about using a visual medium to creatively explore life using myself as a vessel to communicate (via a choice of colours, brush strokes and visual narratives), and express my subjective understanding of experiences.
A: Throughout your career, can you remember a specific review or comment that’s made a lasting impression on you?
GRM: In an MFA critical discussion I asked my group: “As viewers of my paintings, do you feel it is necessary to have some written information explaining the narratives of my paintings?” “It doesn’t matter what your paintings are really about, it just matters that I look at them and I feel happy, and that is it.”
A: And lastly, what do you have planned for the future?
GRM: I am currently exhibiting at The Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh in the annual Open exhibition, 23 November until 26 January.
9 Signs is the new body of work which I am working on in my studio and will complete by the end of December. I am currently establishing a venue to exhibit the series of paintings early in 2014. As well as continuing to have local exhibitions in Scotland, I hope to show my work in London, Europe and in Asia again, as I did in 2011 whilst living in Taiwan. In preparation for 2014 I am applying for creative residencies in Asia to revive and expand my connections with Eastern cultures and their spiritualist motions.
I constantly have new paintings up on the walls surrounding my studio at Patriot Hall WASPS, in Edinburgh.
See Murray’s artwork in the current issue of Aesthetica out now www.aestheticamagazine.com/shop
Images courtesy of the artist.