Based in Toronto, artist Jennifer Murphy has been continuously engaging the art industry with her display of delicate craftsmanship and fervent expressiveness. Her work is a composite of small cuts outs, which Murphy had hand stitched from intricate spans of thread to eventually form whole compositions that create the semblance of skulls and birds in large unframed collages. There appears to have a level of consistency in the styles and types of imagery that the artist has accumulated. On inspection of these collections, a strong inclination for spiders, snakes, cats, butterflies, birds, mummies and jewels is revealed. Ranging from delicate webs of animal life to the kaleidoscopic spheres of text the artists has attempted to move her strategy into installation and sculpture employing newspapers and books as well as magazine cutouts.
Murphy’s art resonates the disturbing imagery of the poetry of Li Ho, a renowned poet of the Tang Dynasty. Li Ho’s brilliance was not at the time accepted in any way by his contemporaries and was known as a ‘Ghost Poet’ in part due to his name as a dark figure on the literary fringes. His literary imagery of life under the constant threat of decay is seemingly prevalent within Murphy’s work, her collages working as a visual realisation of the Li Ho’s poems.
Murphy’s collages are peppered with references to decay and morbidity yet simultaneously emanates a light and certain sweetness whilst capturing an essence of the exuberance of nature. This equilibrium formed by the melding of macabre and the exquisite acts as emulation the natural world. As death cannot exist without life, it is presented through Murphy’s collages that these two forces of existence entwine and embrace.