Stuart Murphy


I live in Ayrshire and have a studio based in Glasgow. I studied Fine Art at degree and postgraduate level, at Cumbria University and York St. John University respectively.

History from below and fringe cultures are the main areas of research in my practice, from which a motley crew of themes has evolved - pirates, slaves, peasants, vagrants, bandits, heretics as well as minstrelsy, the carnival, and Commedia dell'arte theatre; their social world, culture, oppression and radical ideas. As well as symbolism and iconography, many individuals, communities and movements occur throughout my research and practice, from both political and religious spheres, which I feel are deserving of wider exposure. Creating work around these themes, I attempt to put a lens on the under documented, placing these communities, movements and people without a history front and centre.

I mainly work in drawing, assemblage sculpture, collage, painting and text, with the majority of materials either inexpensive, free, re-purposed or salvaged, such as newsprint, ink, acrylic,electrical tape, mannequins, string, used food packaging, old drawings and lining paper. Initially due to cost restraints, this low budget use of materials has now become a staple and important aspect of the work and, in some way, perhaps by coincidence, reflects the self-sufficiency of the pirate, peasant, slave and vagrant.