An exhibition featuring new work by renowned local artists Barbara Gibson and Mark Murphy opens at Argentea Gallery in Birmingham 10 January 2019. Fertile Ground is always the first exhibition to start the New Year at the gallery and is dedicated to promoting the best artistic talent in the region. This year it presents the work of Barbara Gibson and Mark Murphy whose practices are centred around collage and this is the first time their work has been shown alongside each other. All pieces on display are original works and available to purchase.
Barbara Gibson uses vintage images from mid-twentieth century magazines to create socially engaged pieces that reflect upon gender issues. Originally a graphic designer, Barbara Gibson moved to the UK in 2014 and started working through the medium of collage just two years ago. She explains: “Collage is a tremendously exciting medium to work through. I’ve always had an interest in historic photography and, through collage, I can bring a new lease of life to works which were perhaps overlooked when they were originally published. This new collection of work represents a new approach for me and reflects the journey I am on as an artist.”
Mark Murphy plays with scale and form to produce simple, surreal pieces. Appropriating pictures from books and magazines from the past 60 years, his work critiques modern culture by literally slicing apart its imagery and reassembling it into striking, disjointed combinations. The playful image ‘For that moment at least, everything balanced precariously on the prospect of big bucks…’ also functions as a social commentary on economic inequality.
Mark Murphy comments “Collage as a medium has such definite parameters and is so utterly analogue, it’s quite the antithesis to modern graphic design. I love working within these limitations. I feel a bit like a hunter gatherer out collecting prints that intrigue me and seeing how they can be recycled into completely new works.”
By juxtaposing disparate images culled from fashion magazines, illustrated journals and photography, the artists continue the legacy of John Heartfield, Hannah Höch and Josep Renau whose work demonstrated that art itself could be created from the derangement of everyday life.
For gallery opening times and location visit the Argentea Gallery website.