Elizabeth Anne Murray
Visual Artist: Paintings
About the artist: My body of work, spanning the past ten years, except for a few professional commissions, focuses on the concept of character.
Decay, age, tarnish, and neglect, all seemingly negative occurrences produce a subtle narrative on the surface that imbibes warmth and somehow wisdom.
The texture, pattern, and color created from the passage of time on natural elements, architecture, metal, fabric, and even human tissue are particularly striking to me. Images of derelict buildings, thread bare textiles, and frail human and natural forms fail to conjure a feeling of connection to each other, to the past, and the community in most people, like they do for myself.
Although my work is conceptually representative of this connection I feel, the finished product has a visual resonance closer to and heavily influenced by the color field painters and abstract expressionists. The color, texture, and composition have much influence from these genres and also that of one particular contemporary photographer.
The photographs of Kay Duvernet, her abstracted images of existing textures and patterns such as graffiti and rust, along with my own experience with existing natural decay, erosion, corrosion, and corruption during my life in rural Texas and New Orleans, influenced my own visual vocabulary that in turn created the mixture of man-made and natural aspects that drive the color and textural choices in my pieces.
Having lived in a city whose attitude is far less negative towards this concept, the idea of beauty being found in things otherwise understood to be broken, decrepit, or derelict, has encouraged it to become even more paramount in my work.
The architecture of the city of New Orleans is seen to be something worth saving, even if saving means simply to let it remain in disrepair, instead of tearing it down, leaving many buildings, even before the storm, with weather worn exteriors and half finished attempts to restore them.
This acceptance of and loving attitude towards decay, character, and soul, closely parallels my own and after almost seven years there, I developed a great affinity for the city of New Orleans. The architecture, the oak trees, and even the people all have the tale of age on their surfaces and thankfully to the attitude there, they are still considered of value and consideration, something I try to show in my work. It is the respect for quiet age, and the silent knowledge and experience amassed by such things.
My work is a reflection of my life in east Texas, my heritage, my respect for time, life, and age, and the years I have spent in the city of New Orleans. It expresses my visual and psychological understanding of life, and the lives that have come before me, and the environment in which I have lived.
After returning to Texas after the storm, my professional career has given me the opportunity to produce art of many technical styles, and embrace working outside my natural comfort zone. In this time period I cultivated a sense of the value of artistic collaboration and community.
Through large-scale public works, intimate gallery receptions, and even personal commissions I have incorporated and relished in working with others to complete my projects.
I still produce artwork that reflects the beauty I find amongst broken and deteriorated objects, natural or otherwise, but also seek out opportunities to produce art that may or may not have a visual character similar to my own. As I begin a new series, I hope to push into ever more moving visual territory.
Video & Image Gallery
Elizabeth Anne Murray
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