Holly S. Murray: Ice To Water
September 16 - October 11, 2018
Opening Reception: Sunday, September 16, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Holly S. Murray Artist Statement:
I feel a longing and sadness for the planet that has been ravaged by what we have done to it and it seems it cannot be undone. And so is this a lament? Thinking about our world today in comparison to only 50 years ago, vast changes have occurred. As an artist I have always been interested in the world we inhabit, how we interact in it and how we treat our environment. The use of fossil fuels is causing our polar ice to melt at an alarming rate. I ponder, through my art, the impact of this process on our future. It is predicted by scientists that sea levels will rise by 200 ft in just a few short years creating entirely new shore lines for all the countries surrounded by water. Antarctica sits on bedrock that is below sea level. As the ocean warms the floating ice sheets melt from below causing these sheet to collapse. Since 1992, 65 million metric tons of ice have melted.
The ice and icebergs are cracking and melting into another form; saltwater. The earth changes slowly, naturally, but consumption accelerates this process faster than what would have occurred had we better managed our relentless plundering of the earth; are all these changes inevitable? The bergs and ice themselves are beautiful, like the polar bear we admire and fetishize and yet we do not have the collective will to make meaningful changes to our production practices.
These are the kind of questions that inspire me to paint these images, there is a compulsion for me as an artist to make an effort to bring some kind of sense to our plight for myself and perhaps the viewer. There is a joy and pleasure in painting ice so vast and mysterious.
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. During the mid nineties, Murray’s nationally traveling show “On the Home Front”, an installation documenting family violence, garnered wide acclaim. An outgrowth of that work explored issues of aging within American popular culture. The result was a series of paintings called “Death, Desire and Ecstasy”. These themes evolved into a body of work, called “Good Breeding”; examining the intersection between biotechnology and mega-agricultural practices. Presently, she is continuing her investigation of biogenetics and its effects on our world with her painting and works on paper.
Murray has had the opportunity to travel both nationally and internationally across New England, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Among others, she received an Artist in Residence in Jingdezhen, China. She was awarded a residency on the Big Island of Hawaii. Her work has been acquired by private collections, educational institutions and corporations. For the past fifteen years, Murray has overseen the Ceramics Department at Springfield College and is the Director of the William Blizard Gallery. She maintains a studio in Wilbraham, MA.