Thursday, June 07, 2012

The Wonder of Alice McMurrough

I love a bit of bunting.  I know I am not supposed to admit that, but there, I said it!  I also love ribbons, forests, small creatures and fairy tales.  What a dream then to be exhibiting works by Alice McMurrough in our current exhibition, Six Degrees of Separation.

The Little Pretender

I loved Alice's intricate paintings from the first moment I saw them.  Full of character and symbolism, they grab you, lure you in and invite you to discover the many mysteries hidden within.

The Balance Between Give and Take

She says it better than I ever could, she says: ‘In my artwork, I create connections. I paint the gap between innocence and experience. I use distortion, metaphor and symbolism, in a context free from chronological time and precise place.  I intertwine memories of personal events with contemporary issues, family legends, cultural myths and religious fables. Objects, colour and scale are employed for symbolic reasons.'

On The Edge of The Kingdom

'I often find archetypes in old children’s books, toys and television programmes. I aim for an attention that children have for the world, before ritual and maturity strips life of its daily magic. The resulting images display theatrical characters on stage- like sets, inviting open narratives and subjective interpretations. Unlike the consistent symbolism in medieval art, my work revels in the absence of an authoritative reading.  I invite the viewer to engage with the paintings and derive their own interpretation.’

The Perilous Passage of The Precious

And engage they do.  People have been studying the paintings, discussing them and telling stories.  I love this.  I love it when the paintings in the gallery inspire discussion.  Most of us can relate to some of the fairy tale symbols in Alice's paintings.  There has been delight, fear, wonder, and always fascination.

Out in The Woods Today

Her outstanding and intricate paintings have deservedly won several awards, including the Joe Hargan Award, PAI (2012); James Torrance Award, RGI (2011); Glasgow Art Club Fellowship Award, PAI (2010) and many others.

Me with Alice and her husband, artist Neil MacDonald

Thank you to Alice and her lovely family for bringing such magic to the gallery and for making this exhibition extra special.  Please click on the link to view all of Alice's paintings currently on show.

Thanks for reading!


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