Global Talent Art Prize
Interview: Meghan Murphy
Shattered, 2021, 8.3 x 11.7 in, Cyanotype Photograph & digital illustration. Meghan Murphy
Can you recall the moment you knew you wanted to be an artist? What made you interested in arts?
Since I was very young, I felt able to communicate most clearly through creativity; the way I perceived the world, the emotions I experienced and the manner in which I learned, were all processed through the language of art. I am very lucky that my teachers at a young age supported my (unconventional) process of learning through illustrating subjects such as math and science…
Tell us about your artistic process and the way you brainstorm ideas? What do you usually start with when creating? How do ideas become artworks?
My process begins with stories. I believe stories–the way in which we tell them and the iterations of tales, mythology, and folklore throughout cultures and histories–reveal the human condition. I read stories that are deeply embedded in collective social identities, and spend lots of time listening to what other people have to tell. Ironically, I am most drawn to what is not being said in stories. Many of my pieces are the result of filling in blank spaces, weaving together fragments, de-tangling history, myth and truth, making the uncanny tangible and silence palpable…. Through reflection and auto-fiction I attempt to make artwork that subverts the stories we are told about ourselves.
She’s Thrown a Shoe, 2022, Texture 1, Resin sculptures, approximately 1.5 ft x 1-4 in. Meghan Murphy
Do you have or have had a mentor or other special person to guide you?
I have learned the most through fellow contemporary artists, specifically other students during my time at College. I am inspired by the ever-evolving means of artistic expression–the new mediums and how to re-appropriate traditional mediums. I learn the most while working in shared spaces; a shared studio is this wonderful atmosphere of vulnerability in which artists are simultaneously making and unmaking, and an opportunity to observe and share varying processes of creating.
How has your style changed over the years? If yes, could you explain why?
My style has drastically changed over the years. I used to approach art with a more rigid understanding, and use, of mediums. I think that my perspective on “good art” versus the purpose of art, and the possibilities of contemporary art, has naturally evolved my practice. I am not especially concerned about my style, or being aesthetically pleasing, but rather daring to create something that feels authentic to me.
She’s Thrown a Shoe, 2022, Resin legs on lightbox approximately 1.5 ft x 1-4 in. Meghan Murphy
Your artistic practice is very extensive and includes sculptures, video, drawing, photography and installation. What kind of message do you wish to convey in your art?
I think that the overall intention of my art can be understood through my piece, ‘Dining on Leftover Legacies,’ an installation meant to create a space familiar and yet placeless. Participants are intended to be pulled into the intimate comfort of a dining room, and then, once within, it becomes clear that the individual elements of the installation (especially the chosen materials) have an alien, raw, decaying quality…something altogether new emerging from the past, making the invisible seen, the uncanny tangible. I want to create a framework in which viewers and participants can insert themselves and be reminded of their own abilities to attribute new meaning to old narratives.
Once Upon a Time, 8mm short film, archival family footage
Tell us more about what project you are currently working on?
I have recently been working on a collective called Sexual Matter, which I co-founded in 2022 with my colleague Julie Dusuel. Sexual Matter is a workshop created in response to the lack of spaces to critically discuss and collectively explore sexual desire. The workshop is open to all who are interested in the subject of sexuality and eroticism and would like to develop their creative writing skills and critical thinking.
What will be your next project?
In light of recent global events, I have become keenly aware of my existence, and legal rights, as a woman. Such threatening events have also, naturally, impacted my practice. In particular, I have found myself re-visiting Roman mythology and being intimately drawn to the depictions of female monsters. Were the qualities that made these females “monsters” their greatest strengths? How do these ancient tales continue to reverberate through contemporary social and political debates as to what makes women monstrous? Through a new art series I plan on depicting ancient imagery of these female “monsters” in contemporary settings to invite viewers to consider the qualities of the mythological monster and contemporary woman.
Orts, 2021, 5.8 x 8.3 in, Cyanotype mixed media. Meghan Murphy
What is your dream project?
My “dream” project is constantly evolving. Right now, a dream would be to collaborate with the late Francesca Woodman. I am also drawn to porcelain and it would be a dream to learn about the material from Rachel Kneebone.
There are many descriptions of the ideal state of mind for being creative. What is it like for you?
My best ideas occur when I have one foot in consciousness and the other in a dream.
What is art for?
Art is for human connection. To explore what it means to be human (or other) and to reflect the state, and possibilities, of our world (and other worlds) through individual and collective experiences.
Web Dining on Leftover Legacy, 2022, installation component leather, metal, silver, acrylic. Meghan Murphy
Thanks for the opportunity to interview you as the 1st Prize Winner of the Global Talent Art Prize (2nd edition). Are there any final thoughts, in particular for the ones who would like to follow your way?
Remember that there is no “right” way to create art. Strive to discover your own artistic expression and embodiment.