PAT FEENEY MURRELL
About the Artist
I don’t know if I chose fiber or it chose me. By training I am a master lithographer, painter, book maker, and installation artist. I have BFA, MA, and MFA degrees in Painting and Printmaking from Massachusetts College of Art, University of Wyoming, and Pratt Institute.
My lifetime interest is the investigation of why and how Man knows himself through the use of bodily personification. In 1974, I began to make imprints of the human body and turn them into lithographs. These prints are in such collections as the NJ State Museum, Zimmerli Museum , Hunterdon Art Museum, and have been exhibited throughout the US and in Europe.
In 1992, having learned to spray paper, I began creating “paper personas”. Adventures in “body wrapping” continued through “remnant boxes”—figures in binder’s board boxes; “cocoon bundles”—floating figures enclosed in fabric bundles; “curtain cages”—women’s bodies hung on the outside of “mock cages”; and “conundrums”— playful interactions between man and child. Exhibited at Noho since 1996, these mobiles have appeared in galleries across the country.
About the Work
Most recently Pat has focused on lithographic body imprints and handmade paper body wrappings. Conceptually the body acts as a persona for Man's spirit - a way of investigating his inner nature. This focus remains unchanged throughout the artist's work. The processes used also remain unchanged.
Only the presentation has changed a bit - to sculptural book forms which emphasize not only the entire body but especially hands and feet. These are signifiers of human growth that firmly place Man as standing - striding forward - lighting fires and making tools.
Processes used to print these books are digital - transfers of images to fine print papers using the hand lithographic press. This allows for multiple manipulations of images in size, shape, texture and scale.
Also exhibited are several body imprints executed as lithographs layered over monotypes and mounted on archival signboard sprayed with black flax handmade paper. The contrast between these two print methods is intriguing and instructive.