Our World Began With Creatures In The Sea, A Journey Through Time
4 November – 5 December 2022
Opening | Saturday 5 November 3 – 5 pm
In his 85th year, Murray Walker is thriving. He celebrates November with exhibitions at The Art Gallery of Ballarat and National Gallery of Victoria, and at Heide Museum of Modern Art in February 2023. Fox Galleries is proud to also present ‘Our world began with creatures in the sea, a journey through time’, a survey show of paintings, sculpture and works on paper.
The Art of Murray Walker in ‘Our world began with creatures in the sea, a journey through time’ is presented as a survey selection of the career of Murray Walker substantiated on allegory and archetypes; time is never quite linear but refracts into his drawings, paintings, collage, assemblages, printmaking and sculptures. Together they form a lively dance of animated line and curious creatures.
Adroit across disciplines, what unifies his art is the buccaneering of history, knowledge and objects characterising the frank accounts of an adventurer. Not to be misunderstood as flimflam, as a well-educated artist and anthropologist Murray Walker is perhaps somewhat of a truth seeker. And beauty is found in the truth, however raw. Murray Walker rewards those who contemplate.
Born in Ballarat, he studied at RMIT in the late 1950’s before moving to London in 1960 to study at the renowned Slade School, receiving a scholarship for further study in Italy during 1961. Exhibiting since 1963, he has become acclaimed internationally, while until now, he remained relatively under the radar in Australia.
Murray’s works feature in major national collections including the Art Gallery of Ballarat, National Gallery of Australia, British Museum, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.
Murray Walker as an artist sits uncomfortably in any construct of a history of Australian art. He is one of this country’s most accomplished and respected printmakers and has made a huge contribution to assemblage art and painting, yet has lived for most of his life under the radar.
He has exhibited professionally for more than half a century and is represented in almost a hundred public collections, nationally and internationally, but does not enjoy widespread recognition and has been described as ‘the best kept secret in Australian art’. His work is tough, awkward and unconventional; it is vivid and brilliant in its inventiveness; as well as provocative, challenging and possessing a huge sense of presence. He worships bricolage, chance and believes in the power of the found object with its endless range of associative possibilities.
I have always felt an enormous sense of ‘compression’ in Murray Walker’s art, where humour and pain are brought together, street art and graffiti become fellow travellers and join forces with the exquisitely crafted art object, and the immediate and politically topical appear as the dark side of the vernacular Australian and international urban landscape. The work in Helter Skelter spans over a decade and three continents and in its final analysis celebrates the triumph of the human spirit over the forces of darkness that surround it.
– Professor Sasha Grishin, AM, FAHA
The Sir William Dobell Professor of Art History, Australian National University