• Mappa di Florenzen. Acrylic, graphite, coloured pencil and gold leaf on poplar panels, 2015.
  • Mappa di Florenzen. Acrylic, graphite, coloured pencil and gold leaf on poplar panels, 2015.
  • Mappe e Manoscritti Contemporanei installation, 2015. Photo: Louis Haugh
  • Mappe e Manoscritti Contemporanei installation, 2015. Photo: Louis Haugh
  • Manoscritto - Sebastiano. Acrylic and graphite on poplar panel, 2014. Photo: Louis Haugh
  • Manoscritto - Sebastiano. Acrylic and graphite on poplar panel, 2014. Photo: Louis Haugh
  • Manoscritto - Roberto, detail. Acrylic and graphite on poplar panel, 2014. Photo: Louis Haugh
  • Manoscritto - Roberto, detail. Acrylic and graphite on poplar panel, 2014. Photo: Louis Haugh
  • Mappa di Florenzen, detail. Acrylic, graphite, coloured pencil and gold leaf on poplar panel, 2015. Photo: Louis Haugh
  • Mappa di Florenzen, detail. Acrylic, graphite, coloured pencil and gold leaf on poplar panel, 2015.
  • Mappa senza titolo, detail. Acrylic on poplar panel, 2015. Photo: Louis Haugh
  • Mappa senza titolo, detail. Acrylic on poplar panel, 2015. Photo: Louis Haugh
  • Disegno - Antonio B. Graphite and coloured pencil on trace paper, 2014. Photo: Louis Haugh
  • Disegno - Antonio B. Graphite and coloured pencil on trace paper, 2014. Photo: Louis Haugh

15/07/15—25/07/15

Alex Murphy — Mappe e Manoscritti Contemporanei

Preview & Pallas Summer Soirée: Wednesday, 15th July, 6–8pm
Exhibition continues: until Saturday, 25th July
Gallery times: Thursday–Saturday, 12–6pm

Event: Artist's Talk, Saturday, July 25th, 3pm

On the final day of the exhibition, artist Alex Murphy will be in attendance in the gallery. At 3pm he will be giving a talk about the time he spent in Florence between September 2014 and July 2015, where he was trained in the classical technique of marbling, shaping the aesthetic of several of the works featured. Florence also provided the inspiration and content of the exhibition as a whole, both in the artist's archival research of the Renaissance-era 'Office of the Night', and contemporary Florentines whose individual personalities gave rise to some of the most vivacious pieces in the exhibition.

Mappe e Manoscritti Contemporanei is an exhibition of new drawings and paintings inspired by and created in Florence, Italy. Contemporary cartography documents political, social and cultural terrains, both experienced and imagined. Post-modern manuscripts record narratives of individuals and events, both significant and unimportant. These maps and manuscripts record spaces and stories of marginal Florentines, past and present.

Traditional maps communicated a seemingly neutral and objective perspective. Geographies were constructed from one uncontested and ‘universal’ point of view, communicating clearly defined spatial boundaries and divisions, restrictions and exclusions. Historic manuscripts recorded events and people considered important by the privileged. As a result of these prolific and definitive documents, other landscapes, other stories, and other perspectives have been obscured by and into history. This work interrupts and challenges the singularity and exclusivity of the traditional map and the historic manuscript through the use of multiple perspectives, ambiguous and shifting boundaries and by documenting the invisible.

Here, processes and subjects conceal and reveal, erase and establish, resulting in new territories, new understandings, and new realities communicating both form and meaning.  By exploring the undervalued technologies of traditional marbling and architectural drafting — each born of Renaissance Florence — this body of work attempts to reconsider the fate of marginal Florentines, to re-map their place and re-position their stories in history and contemporary society.

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Alex Murphy’s practice explores what is concealed and what is revealed as it relates to marginal individuals and communities. He is particularly interested in the experiences of the homosexual male and the unsung working class. This body of work has resulted from research and investigations undertaken during a sabbatical year in Florence, Italy.

Alex is completing his fourth year of a Bachelor of Fine Art degree at OCAD University in Toronto, Ontario. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and is currently a professor of design at Sheridan College in Canada. Mappe e Manoscritti Contemporanei is Alex’s first solo exhibition.

Photographs taken by Louis Haugh.