Out of Line artist creates intimate portraits using electrical tape
- Credit: Archant
Benjamin Murphy creates artwork out of electrical tape and titles his pieces based on the work of Plath, Poe and Camus, he tells Zoe Paskett
The human form is arguably the second most prolific subject in art – that’s following the infamous bowl of fruit.
Out of Line, a group exhibition at the Well Hung Gallery in Hoxton, explores the different representations of the body.
Benjamin Murphy, an east London based graphic artist, uses layered electrical tape in his portraits to create striking monochrome scenes. He started using tape whilst studying for a masters in contemporary fine art in Salford, displaying artworks in bars around Manchester before moving to London.
“I hadn’t really found my own ‘style’, whatever that means, back then, so I was experimenting with lots of different mediums,” says Murphy. “I also planned to do a big drawing in a field with weed killer, but luckily discovered tape and became fairly hooked.
“I did a nine-story tape drawing for Anti-Slavery International and all of a sudden the Independent and other publications were telling everyone I was an electrical tape artist, before I’d actually decided that it was going to be my main medium.”
As well as Anti-Slavery International, Murphy has collaborated with a number of charities, including the Hepatitis C Trust, the Teenage Cancer Trust and Amnesty International, for whom he created the window artwork that can still be seen on their New Inn Yard office.
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A writer and avid reader as well as artist, Murphy says his work is influenced by the literary greats such as Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allan Poe and Albert Camus.
“I’m a voracious reader and so a book takes me around as much time to complete as an artwork does, which is convenient. I try to title the work based upon a line or word from the book so that if a viewer searches it out they find another level of dialogue within the work that adds more to it.
“It’s probably too cryptic and tiring for many people to bother with though, but it makes me happy.”
Benjamin Murphy exhibits alongside Matt Small, Jim McElvaney, Joseph Loughborough, Ben Slow and James Klinge.
Out of Line runs at the Well Hung gallery in Hoxton Street from September 29 to October 29. Entry is free and details can be found at: wellhung.co.uk