Deirdre Murphy with guests at the opening reception for Murmurations.

Deirdre Murphy with guests at the opening reception for Murmurations.

InLiquid member Deirdre Murphy’s Murmurations will be showing at the Painted Bride Art Center Café Gallery until October 20, with a reception on October 4 from 5 pm until 7 pm. Her work will also be showing during Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, from October 5-6.

As an artist that deals so heavily with living, natural subjects, you must spend a lot of time outside – do you enjoy the outdoors?

I am an avid gardener, growing our own organic veggies and have two young children so being outdoors is a important part of my daily life.

What are the frustrations of working with such randomness and unpredictability?

The fleeting quality of capturing a swarm’s shape is illusive. The moment you try and hold onto an image it is gone. A wonderful metaphor for the sweet, fleeting quality of our lives on this earth-so yes, it is frustrating. I envy photographers and videographers and also musicians for their ability to record movement. My job as a painter is to respond to movement in a silent, still moment.

Have you found similar patterns in other forms of life?/Are there animals that you believe would be equally as fascinating to observe?

Bees, super novas, cancer cell formations. Choas exists all around us. Our job as artists is to distill chaos and find the patterns, find the order.

Photo by Karen Mauch Photography

Photo by Karen Mauch Photography

In your Artist Biography, you refer to “the push and the pull within” – do you believe it’s the same force of randomness that can dictate human actions?

I do believe that there is randomness in all life and that our actions do affect others and our envirionment.

In Murmurations, you use a lot of color as a backdrop, but also in the foreground, almost intertwined with the birds. What does that indicate?

The pure color shapes are a formal painting conversation where I am referring to the parent colors within each of the more complex, subtle color mixtures. The kite shapes are color windows. I am also referring to a bird’s ability to see vast amounts of color compared to human eyes. For our one red, a bird sees about 50 shades of red. Avian vision is vastly more accurate than humans.

Allen Spencer & Deborah Imler

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