We know that under the revealed image there is another one which is more faithful to reality and under this one there is yet another and again another under this last one down to the true image of that absolute mysterious reality that nobody will ever see or perhaps not until the decomposition of every image, every reality.’
Antonioni’s Blow Up was one of the iconic films of 1960s London. It has as its central motif, an ordinary city park, in which a young fashion photographer comes to believe he has photographed a possible murder. In his studio he exposes the details of the crime through a series of blow-ups. With each enlargement the original image becomes a mysterious constellation of abstract marks, from which he struggles to find clarity and meaning.
Murray has responded to the film’s sense of familiarity and otherness by using a series of stills as the basis for paintings. “On seeing the film again after many years, the scene in the park uncovered a dislocation between London (which is now partly in my imagination) and the west of Ireland where I live today. The artificial landscape of the park embodied my own recollections of London, but also unexpectedly, a notion of rural Ireland. As a kind of ‘metropolitan pastoral’, the images of the park become a starting point for personal ambiguities concerning, migration, loss, and notions of home.” (Fionna Murray).
Almost 40 small watercolours hang in a sequence based on the film, together with larger black and white photographs that have been derived from the artist’s own paintings.