Public Made Personal – Crossing over into Science


When I am painting it can be very much about being in the moment and following your mood, instinct – often not really knowing what I am doing -but enjoying the experience of making art, which is why I am interested in science and how it has collaborated with the world of art.

Art can be very wishie washie at times and when your an abstract artist like myself you can often feel like your head is up in the clouds which is why I am interested in the grounding, diagnostic approach of science.

With this painting I am using it as a starting point with my collaboration of science and my art practice. Specifically studying Anna Atkins an English Botanist who published the first photographic book  using an early form of photographic technique known as cyanotype printing or sun prints – Photographs of British Algae 1843.

Anna Atkins was a pioneering scientist of her time, with a scientific education encouraged by her father. Her book illustrates the beauty of science. Many artists use the cyanotype technique in their practice. This illustrates the similarities between art and science. I am not a scientist and I was very happy to receive a double C in my double science GCSE. And that’s as far as my career went in the scientific field. However I would have maybe learnt more if my science based lessons weren’t all about random experiments and learning from text books. Perhaps if Anna Atkins was tele ported to my chemistry or biology lesson to teach her cyanotype printing process, understanding how chemicals such as; ammonium ferric citrate and potassium ferricyanide will create light sensitive paper to make a sun print which can illustrate the perfect outline of flowers etc. I would have learnt from a context that was real and meant something to me. The way I learn is I need to understand how things work inside  and out, often having to get something wrong to understand how to do it right. However this didn’t always go down well in my schooling I often found teachers running out of patients.

Back to the painting……looking forward to seeing how it transforms and takes shape … muse Anna Atkins………………..

This painting is part of a body of work called Public Made Private using wall art which is mass produced and then painting over the original image to stamp my own painting on top. I am interested in the mass production of art and how its soul has some how become stripped away from the painting.






Our Arts isn’t a commodity you can gamble with.

 imageTo Whom It May Concern;

 I am a community artist and practitioner. I am currently running my third photographic course- Picture Makers at The Pontardawe Art Centre, where I have taught over 30 students the skills they need to develop a photographic portfolio and understand the principles of photography and its visual discourse. I have also exhibited at the Gallery many times and curated an exhibition of local artists in 2013.

 Pontardawe Art Centre is the jewel of Pontardawe, connecting its community to national and international arts and culture through; film, theatre, drama, dance, music and the arts, the list goes on.

For this beating heart of culture and the arts to be sacrificed through budget cuts would be a crime to the community and its well being. Pontardawe Art Centre has established an outstanding reputation, where people travel vast distances to experience the arts and culture on show there. The arts centre is a place of shared experiences where its audiences connect to the magic of theatre, cinema, music, dance, the arts and much more. It is a place of sanctuary where ambition, imagination, celebration, wonderment, excitement are nurtured through its artists and audiences alike.

To see the art centre hit with budget cuts would create a void of unspeakable damage to the community and beyond with its impact felt by generations to come.

Best Regards

Sheree Murphy

The seed of the same idea….

Reflecting upon my collections there is a strong theme through out my work. Being the female identity, from my past and present.

The collection ‘Being a girl’ started this whole concept, with its exploration of coming of age, transitioning from girl to women. ‘Nurtured in Concrete Form’ all though I started off photographing my family homes it opened up a new world of my female ancestors, particularly in Ireland and my grand mothers struggles with Alzheimers. The photograph below is of my mother, its a seed of a new strand to this body of work.


Nun’s of Nasthrath


The Music Box is part of my family history, a broken old music box owned by my paternal grandmother Nanny Murphy. I kept as a child after she past away.

It embodies my family history recreating memories, believes, illness, loss and celebration. Its an intuitive piece. The photographs were taken in Lourdes, France. In a holiday home run by the Nun’s of Nasthrath for families suffering illness. Its a sanctuary of peace.




Producing Art From Your Own Environment.

I watched an amazing documentary about hip hop in the UK in the 80’s written and directed by Tim Westwood – Open space/ bad meaning good. They interviewed a young graffiti artist called ‘Pride’ and another fellow artist about their graffiti  in the 80’s. The perception of their art form is very  telling.

“……….art school taught me discipline and structure but initially there was conflict graffiti wasn’t really an art form because it had such negative connotations. It was like a uphill struggle for me to get my work accepted in the same sort of confines of water colour paintings and oils. Generally if you look at the volume of young people who are doing graffiti how you should take that as a message. People aren’t necessarily going to be able to go to art school to produce creative pieces of work yet there still creating creative pieces of work in the their environment. And not see it as vandalism but a cry from the heart that people actually want to produce art”. Pride Graffiti Artist  1980

“…..there are a lot of young people unemployed they’re doing nothing, nothing they got no big name they don’t stand out, just a number really. They just want  to get pointed out and get there fame another way so I’d say the message really is, to say they’re alive, that they exist, to let people know they exist” Anonymous Graffiti Artist 1980

What stood out to me about these young people being interviewed is that this was their movement, created by them and not dictated to by the establishment (more of a reaction to the establishment). Its their reaction and expression in the world. Loath graffiti or love it, you can not deny the profound message it often carries, particularly with artists such as ‘Banksy’.



Irish Connection

Conway Street

Learning sleep family roots, Secrets, painful, past.

Memories nostalgia, protecting let go, holding alone tear.

Sad secret young love hold love.

Murphy dream catholic.

Open brother play, shout, simple.

Fortunate rich Irish.

Poor old new cry.

Change share secure safe.

Unconscious hope breath.

Welsh life laugh faith silent, childhood star.

Conway street sister, divorce.



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