Mythic Migration
Holly S. Murray

Hampden Gallery: Main Gallery and North Gallery
February 20 - May 10, 2023
Opening Reception: Wednesday, February 22, 5-7 p.m.
Artist Talk: Wednesday, February 22, 6:30-7:00 p.m.

Bluebirds assist keystone animals and plants in a mythic migration out of the minefields of global chaos, creating an allegory of our time. The bluebirds are imbued with power, wisdom and knowledge of the ages, helping guide these species to safety along with their nests/shields.

Artist Statement

“A keystone species is a species which has a disproportionately large effect on it's natural environment relative to its abundance. Keystones help hold the ecosystem together.”
The bluebird has had cross-cultural and universal meaning for thousands of years, it is a symbol of happiness, good fortune, prosperity and renewal.
My interest in the bluebird and its symbolism has long been a theme in my creative process. In this installation, I have created a mythic scenario of migratory Keystone animals and plants in an epic march through the loss of land, habitat and environments during our time. The bluebirds act as guides, shepherding the way. On the wall, nests/shields provide additional protection from the ensuing events. The work is made from cone 6 stoneware clay, a material from and of the earth, symbolizing grounding and creating stability in our otherwise chaotic world.

Holly S. Murray Bio

Holly S. Murray grew up amidst the wild beauty of rural New England. She is a graduate of Syracuse University, with a B.F.A. in painting and printmaking.  She holds a M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts, where she studied ceramics and photography.
Throughout Murray’s career, her art process has traversed the terrain between the studio and interactive public collaboration. The content of her art is concerned with cultural and social issues. Presently, she is continuing her investigation with installation,painting and works on paper.
As an artist, Murray has had the opportunity to travel both nationally and internationally across the East coast, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Among others, she received an Artist in Residence in Jingdezhen, China. She has also been awarded residency on the Big Island of Hawaii. Her work has been acquired by private collections, educational institutions and corporations. For the past twenty five years, Murray has overseen the Ceramics Department at Springfield College and been Director of the Wm. Blizard Gallery. She maintains a studio in Wilbraham, MA.