Grace Murphy

About Grace Murphy

Grace Murphy is a mixed media artist currently completing her BA (Hons) in Fine Art at Leeds Arts University. Her practice confronts societal perceptions of craft, both contemporary and historic and aims to challenge the narrative that craft is of less value than ‘fine art’ practice, simply because of its ties to women and the domestic sphere. Through her work, she wants to give an appreciation to art forms that have been overlooked and are underappreciated by bringing them into a new modern context and recontextualising craft techniques. She is particularly interested in crochet as an art form, because unlike other similar crafts such as knitting, crochet is almost exclusively done by hand as it is reliant on the human eye and human judgement. Whilst crocheting, you are in many ways becoming the ‘machine’.

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Working from home

Grace’s photo series titled ‘Working from Home’, explores the stresses of having to work from home due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. She wants these images to convey a sense of how overwhelming and confined domestic spaces can become when you are restricted to them. She uses light painting and long exposure photography to capture the movement created by the sewing machine light and workspace, and through this, manipulates light and time. This creates an other-worldly, Uncanny glow and documents the chaos of the working process In ‘Working from Home’, there is no distinction between housework or work, comfort or sleep, creating something unsettling in the domestic space.

Crocheting a table runner

(content warning: blood)

Grace’s video ‘crocheting a table runner’ documents the process of crocheting a seemingly ordinary table runner. However, as the video progresses, both the white yarn and hands slowly become covered in blood. Through this use of abject materials, she alters the typical associations of what the craft process looks like and gives a sinister undertone to something typically seen as comforting and calming. Throughout the video, you can see the process becoming harder and slower, with the stiffening of the yarn, exploring the technicalities of craft and its difficulties. She also references the horror genre in terms of lighting, audio, filming style and content.