Magnetic Island’s own wall flower

Hannah Murray is introducing Townsville to her unique floral artwork. IMAGE: Floating Orchid pattern, Hannah Murray

Take a scroll through Hannah Murray’s Instagram page and you will quickly see that her current body of work – mainly intricately detailed orchids drawn, painted, printed or digitally transposed onto vintage wallpaper – can quite literally be described as a wall flower. Though Hannah’s incredible pieces are no shrinking violets!

The Maggie-dwelling Ayr-native develops her work from journal drawings or her own digital photos, recreating them in pen, ink and pencil directly onto vintage wallpaper she sources through op-shops or a specialist supplier.

Magnetic Island’s Hannah Murray

Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am a Townsville based artist who was born in Ayr, North Queensland. I have completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts (2002) from James Cook University and a Graduate Diploma in Education (2003) from The University of Melbourne. Formerly represented by Gilligan Grant Gallery in Melbourne Victoria (2003- 2013) I am a part time artist and part time art teacher. I work across a variety of different mediums including drawing, painting, printmaking and more recently digital design.

My current body of work is inspired by the enduring still life genre, particularly the symbolism found in traditional 16th Century Dutch still life paintings, or vanitas. Imbued with myth and meaning my arts practice is a personal reflection of universally timeless themes such as life and death, beauty, transience, mortality, longing and loss. Working directly onto vintage wallpaper my mixed media artworks aim to exploit the distinctly ornate and decorative qualities of its pattern and colour. 

What’s inspiring you right now?
Tropical flora and fauna – particularly orchids, vintage wallpaper and muted retro hues.

‘Happy Hour.’ IMAGE: Hannah Murray

How do you get started? What’s your artistic process?
A body of work is generally dictated by a wallpaper’s style, colour and pattern.  I work directly onto vintage wallpaper that I source from op-shops or a specialist shop in Melbourne. All artworks are developed from either journal drawings or my own digital photographs which are often enhanced in Adobe Photoshop. Each piece begins with a muted wash or block of synthetic polymer acrylic paint. The illustration or key image is then developed directly onto the surface using a variety of drawing mediums including pen, ink and watercolour pencil. Original artworks are scanned and then further developed into digital designs using Adobe Photoshop.

Where to find Hannah’s work:
On her website and Instagram
Aquarius on the Strand‘s lobby and lift, as part of Townsville City Council Gallery Services SHIFT program
Online and in stock at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts
Greeting cards stocked in MaryWho? Bookshop
Later in the year, catch Hannah as a participant in  PUNQ – Townsville’s inaugural Pop Up NQ Festival from 28 July – 6 August

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