ARTIST Q&A

Dianne Murphy

South Wales, UK

Type of artwork you're most likely to produce?

Colour inked etchings.

What is your favourite piece of art you have created?

Next piece of work.

If you weren't an artist what other career would you be in?

Science, construction or communication of some type.

If you could buy one piece of artwork what would it be?

Douglas Thomson ‘s “Illusion of Beauty”.

What inspires you?

Living life

Delving a little deeper

Why do you do what you do?

I drew and made things with my hands from an early age and I feel that everyone comes with a special facility inside of them - it’s just having the opportunity and the means to express it. I work alone in the studio (even though I am very sociable by nature), and it feels like an essential form of expression, communication and connection to me.

Can you tell us about your artistic background/education

I only enjoyed the social side of school and left asap, working for six years in offices. Temping was good but I hadn’t stopped drawing and making so attended commercial college and got the entry qualifications for Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee. I studied drawing and painting on the fine art course with printmaking as my final secondary subject and became hooked on making prints! Because my visual language is that of childhood imagery I was chosen for lots of artist in residence posts in schools and a couple brought me down to Wales. During that time I was also asked to lecture in Newport College of Art. Having acquired fine art agents and Illustration agents in London it made sense to stay rather than return to Scotland. I then met my partner, we married and moved to his hometown in the Valleys where involvement with local social workshop/placement/project initiatives kept me busy for many years - it was essential, emotional and fulfilling work. Nowadays, with our youngest at university, I have been able to concentrate a bit more on my own work once again.

Do you work in silence or do you prefer a distraction?

If I’m doing manual work (which I enjoy!) I like to listen to radio 4, you can learn so much. If I need to think, concentrate or consider it has to be silence.

How do you choose the subject matter for your works?

Generally it’s through reading books: expanding my knowledge of chosen topics and making sense of thoughts. I’ll then match physical objects to enact the conclusions reached.

Has your practice changed over time?

Initially my expression centred around my perceived sense of childhood injustices but, as I grew, a strong sense of feminism and the highlighting of the quiet strength of women, particularly within relationships, preoccupied my output. Just now an examination of the weight of being and how we can make sense of our allotted time here prevails.

Who are your favourite contemporary or historical artists and why?

I admire and enjoy lots of artists and their work but if I had to choose one it would be Peter Blake. I love the colour, the mood, his juxtapositioning and just the way his work makes me feel.

If you could describe your work in less than 5 words, what would they be?

Unusual, thought provoking, emotive and lyrical.

What is the best advice given to you as an artist?

Find your own visual language.