Idris Murphy | Drawing Breath

The landscape has been a constant point of immersion for Idris Murphy. Whether it is the sun bleached country of Australia, the bright greens of Gallipoli or the forests of Scotland, Murphy's practice is his own multifaceted language that speaks of his connection with the land. 

In his latest exhibition at King Street Gallery, ‘Drawing Breath’, Idris Murphy incorporates exciting new techniques that expand his engagement with the land. A work on paper exhibition, the exhibition includes monotypes, etchings, drawings and most recently heliographs by the artist.

For Murphy engaging in a variety of mediums is a natural progression for his practice, stating, “I see drawing as a particular way of thinking; a way of extending my approach to the language of the landscape, which also includes printmaking and painting, and more lately sculpture.”

The development of the heliograph technique speaks to his visceral and perceptive practice, as he explains, “printmaking has always been somewhat restricted for me by the inability of finding approaches which approximate the intuitive processes in painting and drawing, and the ability to be able to continually rework an image not restricted by recipes and rigid techniques, hence  the more expansive approach to etching and the excitement found in this Heliographic technique”.

The rarely exhibited heliographs are rich additions to Murphy’s oeuvre, his characteristic unrestricted, gestural brushstrokes take on a new form when applied to glass and printed onto paper. Considered in his selection and exhibition of the heliographs, Murphy states, “it has afforded me the luxury of discarding many of them and saving only those few that come together as finished works in their own right”.

‘Drawing Breath’ is an insightful glance into the many mediums that Idris has developed over the years. However do not assume that one takes precedent over the other, he adds “Although I have been drawing for some 50 years, I have not considered it preparatory in any way for painting or printmaking. These drawings are neither sketches nor information to inform my paintings”.

From his rich green landscapes of Gallipoli, and earthy tones of Scotland, to the energy and depth of his gestural heliographs, ‘Drawing Breath’ captures an exciting point of time for Murphy and his practice.

Idris Murphy – Drawing Breath – Works on Paper

21 June – 16 July 2016
King Street Gallery

Courtesy the artist and King Street Gallery.


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