Ingrid Murphy // Seen and unseen
Seen and unseen opened at Ruthin Craft Centre in November 2018. It will tour to Mission Gallery, Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, the Ceramic Gallery at Aberystwyth Arts Centre and Craft in the Bay.
Ceri's introduction to the publication accompanying the exhibition:
Ingrid’s work is playful, it is fun and it is surprising. More than this, it invites us to interact with it in ways that we’re unused to with ceramics. It’s not functional in the familiar sense that a jug, plate or wash basin might be, but it is designed to function. Ingrid’s work engages us on sensorial and cerebral levels, prodding us to join in its investigations.
An extension of her curious mind, Ingrid’s ceramic practice uses numerous creative avenues to channel her investigations. Investigations into the material qualities of clay, into the aesthetics of ceramic and into the versatility of this medium as a vehicle for new technologies and for communication. Communication is central to her work and, thus, Ingrid is a great collaborator.
Conversation and shared learning are important to her. Working in an academic environment, and at the forefront of creative research, Ingrid naturally draws others into her work. Long-term collaboration with colleague Jon Pigott has brought Ingrid beyond the black box of technology, their shared creative vision helping to interweave their disparate skills. Working with fellow researchers at FabLab Cardiff expands and enriches Ingrid’s explorations in scanning, 3D Printing, Augmented and Virtual Reality, as well as physical computing. Hers is a practice that is continually developing and moving. Finding a solution to one challenge raises questions that lead her to the next.
New found knowledge is there to share, Ingrid believes. Open Source is a mutual resource that illustrates our inter-connectivity, particularly for new technologies. That Ingrid incorporates this so fluidly into her ceramic practice contributes to keeping her work fresh. This hand-made crafting of technology can be both amusing and provoking. Take her series of flat-backs for example, here are pastoral scenes that we’ve been familiar with for centuries. Yet what do they reveal about our social history and society now? By implanting back stories into the characters and transplanting faces from our past with faces of her current day, Ingrid gives new resonance to these mantelpiece icons. They’re personal.
Interested in peoples’ stories and social history, Ingrid likes to connect her pieces of work to places, times or people. The Irish tradition of burying the head of Jesus, broken from a figurine, in order to bring good weather to a particular place on a particular day is personal heritage that, for Ingrid, deserves re-telling. She shares this through her own unique interpretation in her piece I.O.T. Jesus.
Ingrid will often combine original and found objects with her ceramic making. Such objects bring their own history to the work, which can inform the whole piece. In her Sounds of the Pink City, Ingrid has collected used terracotta chai cups from Jaipur. They already have the hand of the maker and the hand of the user on them and now they bring us the sounds of the city from which they originated and give us a material sense of that place.
Connectivity and communication are at the heart of Ingrid’s interactive works, works informed by her home, academic and transient environments. What firmly roots her myriad projects and ever-evolving lines of enquiry is, crucially, the value she personally holds in people and in society.