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MUNTHE ART MONDAY: MARIA MURPHY

Instagram: @mariamurphy.artist

Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.

I am Maria Murphy, an artist originally from Ireland. I live in Stockholm with my husband who is Swedish for the past 10 years. I studied Fine Art Painting in the Limerick School of Art & Design Ireland and have always been fascinated with the medium. My work is mainly figurative with expressive brushstrokes and vibrant colours. The figures in my work are characters which represent something I am thinking about or exploring at the time. Sometimes I come up with the character before I realise what it represents or how I feel. It is upon reflection that I understand what story I'm trying to tell. Right now it's the Cowboy. I have been back studying a digital creative program where we work with alot of startups and tech companies. I find the entire world fascinating and think either I’m a cowboy because I don't know what I'm doing or they are cowboys because they are faking it till they make it.

I think office politics is hilarious and the funny things people say to sound important. I love the cliche phrases like ‘let's touch base’, ‘lets circle back’ and some of these phrases I use for the title of my work. The cowboys are all taking part in scenes and it's up to the viewer to tell their own story when looking at them. Music plays a huge role in my work and inspires my latest collection which is all based on the Garth Brooks song ‘Friends in low places’. These cowboys and cowgirls illustrate each line of the song. I'm not done yet with this and plan to make more of these scenes. If I'm not painting I am learning pattern design because one day I would love to see my work on a garment. I am a very curious person and like to learn alot and explore many different creative paths.

Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?

If there is something about being a woman in the art industry it is to be unapologetic, bold and confident in order to get your work out there. I do have a tendency to overthink things and second guess but I've learnt to push past it, even if it's not perfect or how you planned it. Being female we are strong and resilient and we need to lean into that when it comes to the art world. Living in Sweden is a huge advantage to being female in the art world because I feel you have equal opportunity. I see more and more female lead gallery owners and creative businesses so it's a great time to be a female artist.

Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why they do so?

Marlene Dumas her stark figures and beautiful washes of colour. I love her irregular lines and poses. There is something elusive and interesting for the viewer in her work. Genieve Figgis is an Irish painter that uses satire in her historical compositions along with this exuberant thick impasto paint. I recently discovered Mamma Andersson and love her different surfaces and compositions. Why I love all of these painters is their use of paint but there also is something behind their strokes and lines. They tell a story beyond what is shown.

What would you like people to notice in your artwork?

The colours and the brushstrokes are what I enjoy about painting. This is something I want to bring forward to the viewer along with the story of the figures. I want people to feel immersed and enjoy the irregularity of the line and marks. I think a lot about the colours I choose and I feel this can add to the atmosphere and feeling of the work.

Maria is wearing our HOLLIA shirt, JARUM pants, URILANCA dress and CIELLA top.