Vast, deserted, majestic landscape with only the smallest hint of a human presence – the headlights of car or an isolated cabin – are recurrent themes in Suzy Murphy’s work. Her images are not just visual representations of observed landscapes, they are also im-bued with a profoundly personal dialogue and underlying political commentary. Deeply autobiographical, her paintings are better understood as a form of self-portraiture.
Born in London’s East End in 1964, Suzy Murphy moved to Alberta, Canada at the age of five. The shift from a small tenement apartment, where she lived with her large Irish family, to the vast open landscapes of North America, brought an enormous emotional shift. This experience became the creative catalyst that informs the tranquillity and magical realism of her work.
Suzy Murphy’s love of North America has remained and she continues to travel extensively on annual road trips from the monumental landscapes of the Rocky Mountains to the sprawling townships and prairies. Her diarised sketches record her trips and these small, spontaneous images become the basis for her paintings. The narrative of her life is the subconscious thread that runs throughout her work and continues to quietly but surely present itself.
Suzy Murphy is an alumna of St Martin’s School of Art, London in 1982. Her work is held in many important public and private collections worldwide. Suzy Murphy continues to live and work in London, England.