An artistic career path was always likely for Ian Murphy after completing a strong Fine Art and Art & Design A level programme and a Foundation course in his home town, before moving on to complete a BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art, Painting and Printmaking. Graduating in 1985 with 1st class honours from Sheffield (now Hallam University) was testimony to his hard work and endeavour during this period of his life, and his desire to extend his ideas and practices as far as possible. Young students often ask at what point do you become an artist and the answer always points back to the early educational years.
Drawing, and the need to discover visual experiences in the outside world, has always been at the forefront of Ian Murphy’s practice and is certainly something that he acknowledges started in those formative years: without doubt completely inspired by the northern industrial landscape that surrounded him.
Coupled with his single minded approach to the development of his paintings, Ian Murphy continued his quest to exhibit in the professional arena and secured his first gallery residency immediately after graduation. Inclusion in the national ‘British Young Contemporaries’ in London gave him the taste for an artistic career, which was quickly followed by sales and commissions for his atmospheric work. Group exhibitions and collaborations are always the best way to get things started for young artists and exhibiting in such shows as ‘Generations Apart’ and ‘Piranesi’s Prisons’ established this trend in forthcoming years. His first solo exhibition ‘Ian Murphy, Drawings and Paintings’ proved immensely popular, cementing his arrival on the artistic circuit, and setting in motion the creation of a fan base for his work.
Another significant milestone in Ian Murphy’s development also started at this point. It was during his first residency, arranged by Art Educationalist Rod Taylor, that he realised his ability to communicate to an audience. Discovering an appetite to share not only his technical skills, but also his enthusiasm and creative energy for the production of Fine Art pieces, along with his willingness to open his studio space to allow others an insight into his day to day thinking and practice was, and still is, a bold initiative. Providing Drawing and Painting workshops remains an important priority in Ian Murphy’s schedules, with his simple aim being “to make a difference”.
Developing a career in the Fine Art world most certainly takes stamina and commitment, along with a drive to continually produce and move your ideas forward. It is Ian Murphy’s constant passion for drawing on location that has been the catalyst for his continued progression, and his energy to travel and search for new locations to feed his sketchbook practice is fundamental to everything. The website galleries bare testimony to the influence of worldwide destinations and cultural identities, and illustrate his constant creative desire to work within the sphere of landscape. Over the years his exhibitions have centred around his take on urban and natural environments, manipulated to suit his experimental style and approach; ‘Perspectives’, ‘Full Marks’ and ‘Silent Journeys’ being just some of his successful showings. His work, often described as poetic and spiritual, still fits firmly within the ‘Romantic’ tradition but it’s this hidden narrative, in conjunction with his fondness for materials and tactile surfaces that makes Ian Murphy’s work so sought after.
Ian Murphy continues to develop his practice both as an Artist and a communicator, constantly endorsing the benefits of working in the creative arena alongside the sharing of his experience. His expertise and opinion has been continually sought over the years, speaking passionately about creative practice to such institutions as the BBC, the National Society for Education in Art & Design, and the British Council. It is this foundation that endorses his artistic opinion and provides many with an opportunity to experience the creative journey from sketchbook through to the finished canvas.
Working under the heading “Fragments”, Ian Murphy is developing his next set of drawings and paintings, some of which are included in the galleries for you to enjoy. This website is designed to promote Ian Murphy’s philosophy, and we work closely with him to deliver, with integrity, a snapshot of his studio practice and inspiration. The inclusion of the Online TV section is a major step forward in this philosophy, and allows you direct access to the techniques and processes which are so important to his drawing and painting practice.