John Murphy-Woolford

Available work

John Murphy-Woolford

Born in 1967 in Cambridge, John began his childhood in Berkshire before the family moved and settled in Cornwall. After completing studies at Falmouth School of Art, John went on to receive his degree at Coventry Polytechnic, majoring in sculpture.

For a time John continued to work as a sculptor, but found his true voice when he began to paint seriously ten years ago. Still life painting quickly became the focus of his attention and together with self portraits, these subjects allowed him to explore both the practical issues surrounding image making in paint as well as test and develop his ideas about looking. John says of his art:

"My work starts with an idea: the proposition that a stronger and more significant connection with the world is made when you spend time looking at it. This type of looking is active rather than passive and takes time. It is this change in pace and attention that creates room for discoveries. So to force this change in attention, and try to eliminate distraction, I choose things that are familiar."

The common and everyday are no less beautiful or moving or significant than the spectacular, it is just that they are easily overlooked. As we live in a world with so much competing for our attention, simplifying what we examine may help us see more clearly.
The work is also about the activity and process of painting. I'm interested in how a painting is put together: the form, composition, tone, colour, how the paint is used, the brush marks and gestures and how to use the materials to make sense of what has been seen."

In 2005 John was selected for the BP National Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery, has exhibited with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and recently presented his first one man show with the Lensky Gallery.

John lives and paints in London.