Deirdre Murphy’s paintings investigate the complexities of relationships found in groups of birds and clusters of stars. Her fascination with avian migratory patterns and the astro matrixes of constellations have led her research to Hawk Mountain Bird Sanctuary, Haverford College Strawbridge Planetarium and Drexel University’s Academy of Natural Science.
Deirdre has exhibited extensively in the United States and internationally in museums, galleries and institutions including Verona, Italy, Seoul, Korea, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Delaware, Minnesota, and Oregon. Her work has been exhibited at institutions including the Philadelphia International Airport, Palm Springs Museum of Art, Biggs Museum, New Bedford Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. The recipient of numerous awards and grants, most notably the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowship and a Leeway Foundation award, she has been an artist-in-residence at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary (Kempton, PA), the Vermont Studio Center and Pouch Cove Artist Residency (St. Johns, Newfoundland). Her work has been published in New American Paintings and Fresh Paint Magazine. Murphy’s work can be found in many public and private collections including Colorado Springs Fine Art Center Museum, Temple University, AlphaMed Press and Gamblin Artists Colors.
Deirdre Murphy earned her MFA degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her BFA degree from the Kansas City Art Institute. Murphy is an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania and been a visiting artist at Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania College of Design and University of Texas and Philadelphia University. Deirdre Murphy is represented by the Gross McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia and Zinc Art + Interiors in Edmonds, Washington.
“The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” – Henry Miller
The writer, Henry Miller, says in words, what I attempt to paint. In my painting, I investigate the complexities of these relationships – be they groups of birds, clusters of stars, or shards of geometric color shapes. Flocks of starlings and the astro-matrixes of stellar constellations are metaphors for the mental maps of our contemporary social networking. I am fascinated by the murmurations of flocking birds and how they shift and pulsate in a collective movement. Each bird’s movement causes a different flock shape to illuminate in the sky, just as each season reveals different star constellations. I paint to reveal the contained energy that repels or attracts one another, to explore how these subtle pattern changes tell us about our relationship to nature and to each other. My use of color and shape investigate this theme of inter-dependency.
– Deirdre Murphy, 2015
Photography credit: Rebecca McAlpin