Thomas Murray is an artist, musician and philosopher. Thomas currently lives and works in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and St. Petersburg, Florida.
“This is our Garden”
…artists are the most important people in the world and have been since the dawn of time. The artists’ voice refuses to be dismissed, presenting physically what is impossible to write. We tell the stories and ideas that language finds impossible to describe. We put the face to the name, we create context where context does not exist, we chronicle our times, embrace the very best of the human spirit, in short we are the cultural engine that embraces what it is to be human.
Prior to painting I look. But when I am in the process of painting it has less to do with looking and more to do with watching. I’m watching the brush move against the canvas. I’m watching how the colors lie against each other. I’m like a voyeur in my own studio. I think it must be the same with other artists. I imagine Shakespeare or Kafka gathering experiences, looking around at what is going on, brushing against unlikely characters.
Flowers and Figures provide the vehicles for an exploration in decorative pattern which carries with it a subtle critique of the ownership of deities. To critique the ownership of archetypes is to contest the very sense of knowing and its relationship to faith. Faith directly parallels the act of painting. Robert Stackhouse once told me to “…seek out a personal archetype…” something to sustain me through my painting career. Heliotropism is that metaphor I employ to maintain a personal sense of wonder and exploration, the notion that we are naturally seeking light, warmth, nourishment, inspiration… The myth of the Golden Age, before we sought to be fully tamed, restlessly confronts us, and the naiveté of our modern sensibilities plays out on every canvas.
…is the vehicle of choice for much of my work. What others might see as a hindrance; the vast history of Painting, I see as freedom and opportunity in a contemporary theatre ripe with promise and possibility. Object making is the breath, the sustained exhale. My process is a series of raveling and unraveling. Over the course of several paintings I allow the world to come in, to permeate my awareness. The breath in is invariably followed by another search.
Music and video
…is the inhale, the inspiration. Time and space merge, asking thoughts to slide against each other, fixing only begin and end points.
The Historical lessons
…ask the artist to look more deeply into the reasons for our behavior. Art-making is society’s voice, our conscience. What is perceived by some as a burden turns out to be the key to a liberated practice. Painting never died, I use our sacred lineage as commission to dig deeper, seeking the subtle edges of my awareness. A liberated practice enables me to seek out the important questions that are the foundation of the artists psyche.
…is Paramount. I asked friend how he was doing. “Perfect!” was his smiling response. Holding the question “Is it beautiful?” in the back of the mind begs deeper questions, those that our global culture asks of us each day. Form lies, not in a select and favored style, but in that selection as part of the process each work asks. Each issue demands its own form, light, space, surface. Beauty is not only for the fickle consumer market, but lies in thoughts and ideas just as easily.