Colm Murphy

 

THE attractive and presentable nature of the work in this show has ensured that nearly all the 17 pieces on view have sold. Their popularity must stem from the accessibility of Murphy's clearly defined subject matter, which includes landscape, birds, fish and butterflies, all set within small, clearly regulated panels, decorated with colourful borders. Around each of the images he has left a considerable amount of blank paper exposed which lends an illustrational quality to the work. This is compounded when details contained within the central panels spill over the border, suggesting physical movement within the image which is vaguely analogous to progression through written text - in South I, for instance, cut out leaves seem to blow across the composition or in Hungry Hill, two birds fly from left to right over three separate landscape panels. But while the border device does have its merits, its function as a neat framing device means that the artist must always work within the parameters set early in the painting's design thereby leaving little or no room for reconstitution.

Murphy has used a wide range of coloured inks, sealed with lacquer, to give a striking enamelled quality to the surface.