UH Galleries are delighted to announce Elizabeth Murton as resident artist at the University of Hertfordshire. Murton will present her first major solo exhibition and symposium, Between Materials and Mechanisms, at UH Galleries in Hatfield from 17 September. Over a twelve-‐month period, Murton is engaging in dialogue with specialists and participants, exploring cross-‐ disciplinary ideas, processes and materials to culminate in an ambitious, evolving installation.
Murton will create a large-‐scale installation that will reference the structure and materials of the gallery itself. The University’s Art and Design Gallery is a distinctive space articulated through a series of white steel pillars. Originally formed by connecting two adjacent buildings, the gallery has a thin roof, comprising sections of inflated plastic, spanning the gap. Murton is interested in the relationship between materials and mechanisms in the body. She asks how the structures of materials inside and outside the body can relate. The architecture of the UH Galleries space is one of several starting-‐points for her.
The residency will take the artist on a new journey in working with materials. Murton studied Textiles/Visual Arts at Goldsmiths and consistently repurposes textile processes in her practice. Processes such as weaving, stitching, threading and beading act as a framework for ideas and subjects. Repetition and pattern are recurring features of her output and pieces usually share a commitment to truth to materials; revealing components and construction. Murton’s work is identified by an unobtrusive, restrained aesthetic with subtle details that balance simplicity with complexity.
For Between Materials and Mechanisms Murton will explore how structures around us in the world might relate to the structures within our bodies. She will work with a dancer, engage bio-‐scientists, reference New Materialism, host a reading group, produce creative sessions with young people, investigate the field of material science, develop a symposium, and dedicate making time in her studio. Through this integrated programme, she will make connections between the mechanisms explored and textile processes; for example the expression of muscle fibres in yarn or compressed newspaper as bone or mesh as fascia.
This Autumn’s exhibition and symposium at UH Galleries will represent a pause in the artist’s journey. At this moment in time, Murton will bring together her active research in ambitious physical form -‐ as tangible as our own muscles, tendons and bones. This will be contextualized and expanded through the less contained platform of a symposium, inviting further dialogue between collaborators and peers. As with so many of our body’s mechanisms, the commitment throughout is to a dynamic, co-‐dependent and responsive process.
Supported by the Arts Council of England, the Contemporary Art Practice Research Group (School of Creative Arts, University of Hertfordshire) and Transitions Art Group and Octagon Club at Orleans House Gallery, (Richmond Arts Service) Wellcome Trust funded project ‘From the Outside In’.