We recently chatted to cool dad and artist, Liam Murphy. You might’ve seen Liam’s works in galleries such as Fenton and Fenton, Jumbled, or Penny and Reiby. His works are geometric colourful, and very recognisable. We LOVE that Liam’s playlist is entirely made up of bands local to the Melbourne and Surf Coast areas, so have a listen. Here’s what Liam has to say about life as an artist.
George Takes Twelve
1. Pleasantries first… Tell us about who you are and what you do?
I’m a husband, dad, and artist. I paint paintings and sometimes ceramics. I cook dinner every night, annoy my wife and kids, drink coffee and listen to music.
2. What’s something you do every day?
Make a coffee for my wife and me, wash the dishes and lose my wallet.
3. What’s been your favourite moment so far in your career?
My first exhibition ‘Misery Guts’ I put it on myself. It was really fun and successful; it was the beginning of everything for me. It was so good, everyone bought art and then got really drunk, danced and made a huge mess. It was so much fun!
4. What’s the most treasured belonging/item in your own home?
I’ve got a huge Murdie Nampijinpa Morris painting above my fireplace that is pretty special. Also a 1971 Valiant Charger that is cool. I’d hate to lose those.
5. What does your average work day look like?
Get the kids off to school, it’s pretty easy, they just walk. Wash the dishes, pat the dog and head out to the studio, try to remember what I was doing yesterday. Get distracted by looking for a podcast, answer some emails, paint, have a coffee, listen to music, pat the dog, water the plants, have lunch, read the news, make a pot of tea, paint, pat the dog, remember the washing so hang that out just before my wife gets home, paint a bit more, then the kids are home and it’s all over!
6. Can you pinpoint the moment what you do turned into a profession for you?
I was a teacher for a long time and was getting too busy with my art to do both jobs well. I had to make a decision between the two so with the support of my wife quit my very safe, enjoyable, and desirable position at a great school a block from home. That was scary. I had to make it work!
7. What’s a skill you want to accomplish in 2021?
Get better at the admin side of running a business. Website, taxes, email, postage etc etc.
8. If you could collaborate with anyone (brand or individual) who would it be?
Yahoi Kusama. That would be amazing. Or Axl Rose.
9. If you could see your work displayed absolutely anywhere, where would it be?
Hmmm… projected on to the Sydney Opera House as part of the Vivid festival would be sweet. Or in the lounge room of a Chinese Billionaire who had just paid a record sum for an unknown Australian artist.
10. You’ve got a week off… where are you headed?
Only a week?! Somewhere not too far- Halls Gap or Melbourne. I do love Sydney, NZ is great. Tassie. Anywhere is good!
11. What’s your favourite project/design so far and why?
I’ve been working on a collaboration with a local ceramicist: Ginklet. She makes the most amazing sculptures, I’m currently trying to do them justice and painting the glaze on. They should look cool- it’s a nice change from painting and I’m excited to see how they’ll turn out.
12. What’s next for you? Any exciting new projects in the pipeline…
The ceramics will be part of my as yet un-named exhibition which opens in September at Fenton and Fenton in Melbourne. I’m madly working away on that and haven’t thought too much further ahead to be honest!
Meet the Maker Radio
“I love music, always have. I loved living in Melbourne and going to gigs every weekend when I was young and dumb, and still try to get along to as many as I can now that I am old and dumb. There is so much great music in Melbourne/Geelong and the Surf Coast- all this is from there and fairly recent.” – Liam Murphy
Where to find Liam
Photography by Jo O’Keefe