Megan Murphy's paintings are quiet and sublime, comprised of layers of text, muted color, silver leaf, video stills and glass. If text is included in work, it is derived from history, philosophy, sacred text and poetry. The passages, though carefully transcribed, are ultimately obscured in her image-making process; they are not meant to be read but their impression remains. The combination of her gestured markings and these materials produce elegant, inviting work to viewers.
The paintings and drawings in Megan Murphy's current exhibit at PDX, are inspired by life on the Columbia Plateau.
The water is a metaphor for time, always sculpting, flowing, and changing. I have thought about this space, one that is inherently beautiful while simultaneously deadly, for some time.
Each painting is made with video stills of moving water. The place of each video holds significance to me; each being a part of my history and love of the West. The stills are printed on dura-clear, mounted between silver and Plexiglas. Thin layers of oil paint and text are applied and then sanded away. The text is a combination of history, poetry, mythology, and family stories. What is left on the surface of the paintings, after the sanding away, are remnants of thought and actions, and their impressions left on the surface.
- Megan Murphy, November 2006