A new body of works from sculptor Susie MacMurray opens in October 2020 at Pangolin London. "Murmur" is a compelling collection of striking, tactile and thought-provoking sculptures and installations, alongside intricate drawings, and new bronze and silver works created in a first-time collaboration with foundry Pangolin Editions.
Delicate, sensuous velvet contrasts with rusty barbed wire often reclaimed from battlefields or training grounds; soft round droplets of white wax are painstakingly placed at the ends of sleek lengths of black wire - there is no hierarchy of material in MacMurray’s work, rather a refreshing transformation. MacMurray’s work has always been a process of self-healing and a response to what is happening in her present. In the last few months of lockdown, strong feelings of being helpless and trapped have significantly influenced this new body of work. Having been starved of physical human contact during lockdown, the artist has also been particularly drawn back towards velvet – an undeniably tactile and comforting material to work with. MacMurray has gained a reputation for poetic site-specific interventions in historic spaces, where she merges the history with selected materials that relate in some way.
Susie MacMurray is a British artist whose work includes drawing, sculpture and architectural installations. A former classical musician, she retrained as an artist, graduating with an MA in Fine Art in 2001. She lives in Manchester and has an international exhibition profile, showing regularly in the USA and Europe as well as the UK. Known for her major installation pieces such as Shell, where 20,000 mussel shells each stuffed with a tuft of crimson, silk velvet filled the stairwell of Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, or Echo, a work made of hairnets and violin bow hair, which hung from the ceiling of St Mary’s Church in York, like droplets forming a cloud., MacMurray describes her creative process as a search for something she hasn’t seen or realized before. Finding that point where chaos and order are finally balanced, because that’s where energy is, where change happens and where anything is possible. Her practice is about trying to find those spaces in the cracks that are unexplored. MacMurray has worked on a number of intricate garment sculptures, such as Widow (2009) - where she individually inserted 43kg of adamantine dressmaker pins painstakingly through a black leather skin forming a seductively glittering evening dress - on display at Manchester City Art Gallery, or her acclaimed wedding dress A Mixture of Frailties (2004), made from hundreds of rubber gloves turned inside out.