Collage artist Jennifer Murphy is inspired by interconnectedness. While this interest informs much of her work, it is particularly evident in The Shadow of Sirius, a series of delicate nature collages comprising flora and fauna cut-outs held together by thread. “Wedding the specimens of the naturalist with the visions of the fantasist,” these eye-catching pieces explore our real-life environment through a surreal lens.
Each of Murphy’s collages is made up of a collection of photographs that work together to create a bigger picture. In order to aptly illustrate the artist’s focus on the natural world, these smaller images exclusively feature animals, plants, and organic objects, like sticks, stones, and seashells. Once artistically arranged by Murphy, these photos form silhouettes of similarly-themed subjects, with butterflies, birds, and branches among her most revisited motifs.
In addition to showcasing the beauty of nature, these collages speak to more existential themes—namely, of loss. Relevant to the artist’s personal life and to the world as a whole, this concept has recently given new meaning to Murphy’s lifelong practice. “Although I have worked in collage since I was a child, I really began to explore large-scale, sculptural collage after the death of a dear friend and close collaborator ten years ago,” she explains. “This series comes at another time of loss, both personal and I believe collective. We now live in a time of ecological mourning and are in desperate need for paths to rediscover hope.”
It is this pursuit of hope that has inspired Murphy to create The Shadow of Sirius, a project that creatively shines a light on the earth’s diverse ecosystems and, most importantly, reminds us that everything is connected.