Holborn Library
Monday, October 16, 2023
Saturday, October 21, 2023
32-38 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8PA
Bloomsbury Festival

‘Reclaiming’ is Carolyn Murphy’s first solo exhibition and is part of Bloomsbury Festival 2023. Carolyn is a Manchester based artist, specialising in printmaking and a PMC member. She is currently completing her MA Fine Art Printmaking at Middlesex University.  Her work is inspired by landscape, especially human interventions in the world around us. Themes include fragility, decay, loss and renewal.

Carolyn uses printmaking techniques, such as etching and monotype, to create print installations and wall pieces, exploring gaps, textures, pattern and illusions of space and place. This exhibition reflects on nature’s power to reclaim:

  • Reclaiming – monotype, with collage, 4 panels, 2022
  • No stone unturned IV – hand-printed 3-D paper structures, 2023
  • A world we share? – repeat-pattern etching with emboss and hand embellishment, 2023

Talking about Reclaiming, Carolyn explains “The image is from a ruin I visited on walks in the Colne Valley (West Yorkshire), once considered to be a place where trees would not grow, in the damaged industrial landscape. Since the 1960s volunteers have planted over 300,000 trees.”

No stone unturned IV suggests solidity but the ‘rocks’ are simply folded from hand-printed paper. Lichens are the perfect symbiosis of two species, able to grow in the most challenging of environments and a pioneer species for further new life.

A world we share? looks at dry stone walling. Walls can be seen as a symbol of building – and of boundaries. We humans destroy much in our path. Here new habitats are also created, first inhabited by lichens and mosses, then by plants, small mammals and even birds.

“My work balances decay and growth. The Bloomsbury Festival 2023 theme is ‘Grow’, which fits well with these three works and my MA studies, which connect to my own personal growth, following a period of health challenges,” Carolyn explains.

‘Reclaiming’ is at Holborn Library, 32-38 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8PA from 14-21 October 2023. Works are integrated into the Library setting – in the foyer, within a display case and spreading across the large Library wall. Opening times are Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm and Saturday 11am – 4pm. Free to visit.