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David Murphy Exhibition 25 January 2019 to 2 June 2019
David Murphy Exhibition 25 January 2019 to 2 June 2019



This exhibition brings together new and recent works by artist David Murphy and celebrates the first visual arts commission by The Piece Hall Trust, in partnership with Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP).

Born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1983, Murphy approaches his work with an instinctive sensitivity for the innate qualities and characteristics of materials. Responding to the primary function of The Piece Hall as a renowned centre for trading cloth, and building upon the visual language inspired by textiles that has been central to his own practice in recent years, Murphy developed the motif of the ‘magnified thread’ to create The Blanket, a new site-specific sculpture which was placed at the heart of this iconic Grade I listed Georgian building until 7 April 2019. Murphy describes his sculptures like drawings in space, flattened by perspective. The artist’s play between line and volume, space and lightness, is central to the sculpture. At 15 metres long, The Blanket is suggestive of a magnified textile weave; a warp and weft of merged lines. The work aimed to redefine The Piece Hall courtyard as a space to pause and linger, very different to a hectic day that can be imagined in 1779, when the building first opened as a busy centre for trading cloth.

This accompanying exhibition presents related sculpture and drawings. Murphy considers both of these aspects of his practice to run in parallel and blurs the boundaries between the two and three-dimensional. Just as his sculptural works are lines that grow out of the floor to inhabit the space, his works on paper become three dimensional. The lines push out towards the edges of the paper, expressing movement and energy. Murphy’s distinctive mark making uses a slow and labour-intensive technique of applying multiple layers of thin paint to give the appearance of woven fabric or organic materials, heightened by the use of earthy tones.

This body of work, some of which is being shown for the first time, is perfectly placed at The Piece Hall, combining Murphy’s interest in materials with the rich history and regional significance of this spectacular setting.



Wednesday - Sunday: 10am - 4pm (or by appointment - please ask at The Welcome Centre)

Supported by
The Piece Hall heritage regeneration project is also supported by Garfield Weston Foundation and The Wolfson Foundation.
The Piece Hall is independently managed by The Piece Hall Trust, a registered charity, number 1156948. Registered in England and Wales, number 08906735.
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