Artist Genevieve Murphy enjoys sharing her artistic passion and skills with others in the community. Describing her style as varied, illustrative and theatrical, she loves working in large scale and developing new techniques.

Here she tells The Impartial Reporter about her most ambitious project to date, her favourite materials to work with and what her art means to her.

JC: What is your artistic background? Are you self-taught or did you go to art school/do courses?

GM: After a one year Foundation course in Art and design at Manchester Polytechnic I then went on to complete a Masters Degree in Theatre Design at Nottingham University.

JC: What inspires your art?

GM: I am inspired by everyday surroundings and the curiosity to learn and develop new techniques and methods. I love working large scale and creating pieces with a theatrical flair.

JC: Who/what are your biggest influences?

GM: My first job on leaving college was with a company in London that made costumes and props for film and television. The owner John Bright took me under his wing and taught me a lot of specialist techniques in painting and making that I still use in my work today.

JC: Is there a specific place that you do your work? Do you have a studio?

GM: I have a large purpose built studio in my garden and also a large room in the house where I work. A studio/workshop has always been a priority and my husband who is also an artist/maker, built it even before the house!

JC: What has been your most ambitious piece to date?

GM: I used to work for The Ark Children’s Cultural Centre Dublin as an Arts Facilitator and Freelance Artist. We were involved in many innovative projects, one of which was to create a sculptural garden for Temple Street Children's Hospital. It was many years ago and the first of its kind at the time. I had never created public pieces until then so it was very ambitious but thankfully successful.

JC: What different artistic mediums do you use and which is your favourite?

GM: I use a lot of different mediums, depending on the commission and the requirements of the project. I love to transform ordinary materials into extraordinary objects. One of my favourite mediums is cardboard and paper! It's amazing what you can make from these everyday materials.

JC: Do you exhibit your work anywhere?

GM: Not in the traditional sense of a gallery, the completed projects are exhibited/seen in the public realm…Christmas window displays, sets and props in the theatre, outdoor sculpture trails, installations in shopping centres etc.

JC: Any new artistic ventures planned for 2020?

GM: A lot of the projects I undertake are in collaboration with the community and are usually commissioned by organisations etc. I love to share my knowledge, passion and skills with others through workshops and facilitation, however I also love to make art for arts sake.

My venture for 2020 is to try oil painting (the only medium I haven’t used yet) and I plan to do some portraits, which hopefully will be exhibited in this years annual Royal Ulster Academy exhibition.

JC: What has been your favourite project to date?

GM: I enjoy all the projects that I am involved in… especially those that have a realistic deadline! Sometimes it can be very stressful completing a piece in a short space of time.

JC: What are you up to when you aren’t painting?

GM: I work as an Activity Therapist with the elderly.

JC: How would you describe your artistic style?

GM: Varied, theatrical, illustrative.

JC: What does your art mean to you?

GM: Art is a huge part of my identity and a necessity for my health and wellbeing. It gives me a great sense of achievement, especially when I can help inspire and share my passion and skills with others in the community.