Starting Point: Denis Murrell and His Young Artists’ Paintings
Opening: 6／1／2015 18：30 (Cocktail)
Rui Cunha Foundation Gallery
Portuguese TDM : http://portugues.tdm.com.mo/
This exhibition comprises abstract works by new, relatively inexperienced artists using the combined mediums of acrylic paint and absorbent tissue.
Personally, i have been involved with this technique since 1992. In that year, i used a piece of tissue to clean some paint that had splashed onto the floor of my apartment and was impressed by the intriguing and very beautiful dark red stain that appeared on the paper. Consequently, I resolved to experiment further and so began a long journey exploring the possibilities of combining the vivid colours of acrylic paints with the subtle textures provided by tissue paper. For me, that journey is far from complete.
Over the years, I taught a few students the basics of painting with this method with successful results. Last year, at the request of the Macau Museum of Art, I began holding occasional sixteen to twenty-four hour workshops there. So far, approximately forty students have completed paintings at those workshops. The works in this exhibition are by many of those students as well as others, some as young as nine years of age, who have produced paintings in my studio.
Naturally, all of the almost thirty students’ paintings show some similarity to my own paintings, three of which are included in this exhibition. Obviously, with new artists or for artists exposed to a technique for the first time, a reference point is necessary. That reference point, in this case, because I am their teacher, has been my paintings and my own experience. If I were Pablo Picasso, then my students’ work would no doubt closely resemble those of Picasso.
I expect that, as time passes by, these artists, should they decide to continue painting, and I certainly hope they will, will discover their own artistic mannerisms, perhaps using acrylic paint and tissue paper, perhaps not.
Whatever their futures, they will be able to look back upon this painting experience and this exhibition as their Starting Point.
Denis Murrell’s Bio
Denis Murrell was born at Ferntree Gully, on the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia, on 2 March, 1947.
He received his early education in Australia and after graduating as a teacher, went to live and work in Papua, New Guinea, then a United Nations Trust Territory of Australia. He returned to Australia after fourteen years and then in 1989, relocated to Macau.
In 1995, he was the winner of the first prize for Western painting in the Second Macau Biennial Art Exhibition and, in the following year, his painting, ‘Both’, won first prize in the Western Painting section of the Collective Exhibition of Macau Artists.
His painting, ‘Lunar Fantasy’, won a bronze medal at the Forte Cup Twentieth Century Asian Art Competition, held in Washington, DC, in 2000.
In 2006, Denis was chosen by the Liquitex company as their Artist of the Month and was featured on the company’s website.
In November, 2012, the Macau Museum of Art held an exhibition of over twenty works that Denis Murrell had donated over the years to the Museum’s collection, as well as those that had come into the Museum’s possession in other ways.
Denis has long regarded himself as a Macau artist, having been active in art circles since his arrival. His paintings have been exhibited in numerous overseas countries as well as Macau and can be found in many public and private collections. For the past few years, Denis has been tutoring students in the techniques of his particular style of painting, which makes use of acrylic and other water-based pigments, Chinese ink, and absorbent tissue paper of all types.
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