Responding to a Landscape
New work by Matthew Murray
GRAIN are working in collaboration with Matthew Murray, mac Birmingham and the University of Gloucestershire to curate and produce a new exhibition and publication. The project will premier Murray’s new series and feature a symposium that focuses on contemporary photography and the landscape.
For Murray ‘Responding to a Landscape’ is a photographic odyssey, an epic series of landscape works made over four years, to be premiered at mac in 2017. Based in Birmingham and working with Gallery Vassie, Amsterdam, Murray is more known for his street photography and portraiture. His new preoccupation with landscape, documenting the moorlands during all seasons and conditions, focuses on light, nature and geology. The results are rich, painterly and reminiscent of Dutch seventeenth century landscape painting. The work also references the iconic, epic, pictorial photographs of the Masters of landscape photography like Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, in that they show both the vastness of landscape as well as the microscopic. Murray’s focus on light and texture reveals an appreciation of the beauty of the moors, from striking long summer days to snow storms in the depth of winter. In the series nature dominates and there is no evidence of human intervention or presence apart from the photographer’s approach. And yet here, given the title and location of the series, we are all too aware that in these moorlands there has been a dark human presence.
Murray is a Birmingham based photographer who has worked in a gallery context as well as commercially shooting campaigns for various advertising agencies, features for editorials and exhibiting personal photography projects.
A number of his personal projects have been published including in i-D Magazine, Dazed and Confused, The Observer, The Independent Magazine, Port Magazine, PDN New York and exhibited in the UK and internationally in either solo or group shows. Murray’s work is included in the collections of a number of art institutions, private collectors and in the permanent collections of MOMA, New York, The Tate, London, The Victoria & Albert Museum, London and The British Library. Murray’s first publication ‘Ska’, 2013, which looks at ‘Ska’ subculture was published by Schilt Publishing and distributed by Thames and Hudson. Murray’s work documenting the British during the summer months titled ‘Pleasure in Leisure’ was published by Cafe Royal Books in August 2015.
Exhibitions include at Unseen Amsterdam, 2014, 2013 and 2012 including ‘Matthew Murray, Norman Parkinson, Brian Duffy, Michelle Sank’, Knight of the Camera, Centenary Square, Birmingham, 2008, Lianzhou Photo Festival, Shanghai, 2007, Les Rencontres d’Arles Photographie, Arles, France, 2006.
Awards include Association Of Photographers, Finalist Open Awards Series Category, 2015, Open Awards Category Winner 2014, The International Photography Awards 2014, Finalist, The International Street Photography Awards, 2012, Finalist in The John Kobal Portrait Award 1994 and 1997 and shortlisted for The Observer John Hodge Award, 1998.
Image Credit: Matthew Murray – Saddleworth Moor, Peak District