Molly Murphy
Oglala Sioux

Bear Box - Constellation

6 1/4" L x 4 3/4" W x 3" H

Molly Murphy was born in 1977 in Great Falls, MT. A mixed blood descendent of the Oglala, Lakota tribe, Murphy was raised in western Montana and earned a Bachelor's in Fine Arts from The University of Montana in 2004.

Most of her work stems from a combination of traditional Native arts and modern art. Murphy learned beadwork at a very early age as well as hide tanning, sewing and traditional clothing design. I consider my work to be narrative on many levels.

There are times when I want to tell a very specific story and the pieces become narrative in tone. In other cases I am simply evoking emotional responses to basic elements such as shape and color.

Nearly all of my work reflects the issues of politics, cultural identity, and learning to live with the weight of the past. Molly Murphy currently lives in Missoula, Montana with her husband and daughter.

Along with being a resident artist and guest lecturer throughout Montana, Molly's recent awards and exhibitions include:

2007 Heard Museum Guild Fair and Market, Phoenix, AZ, 1st Place Class VII Division A, Judges Choice, Dittemore

Wheelwright Museum, Sante Fe, NM, Holiday Exhibit and Auction

Art Without Reservations: Changing Hands 2, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY

This piece wa inspired by a range of historical styles including ledger drawing, hide painting, myths, and plains style blankets. The bold contrast between the red and blue tones is reminiscent of central plains style. Many old stories talk about bears as being night guides and having a sky presence.

The red and blue symbolize earth and sky, day and night, male and female, generally illustrating opposites that ebb and flow. Each side has a lodge image in a northern plains style. I wanted to have each side be equal yet opposites with the interior matching that and creating a visual pop when the box is opened.

In some small way, I may have been inspired by politics. I get offended when the we are divided up into red and blue. I think we have too much in common and at stake to allow for those kinds of divisions.

The new variety of gold beads is so inspiring in how much sparkle and how celestial they seem. This is my first piece that has an octagonal shape. I keep trying to push the boundaries of what shapes and sculptural elements I use in my box series.

The care and handling of beadwork differs from other media. The wool components can be gently dusted with a lint free cloth, or an adhesive lint remover used to remove particles. Also you may use canned forced air used to clean electronics. Keep out of direct sun and avoid high humidity. Beadwork has characteristics of both strength and delicacy. Gently dusting and proper care when moving should ensure that beadwork retains its original appearance.

Detailed list of components: hand-dyed woven wool, Pellon brand interfacing, Nymo brand nylon thread, balsa plywood, Czech and Japanese glass beads size 13,14, and 15, Czech gold plated size 13 cut beads and gold plated trim beads, adhesive, Czech glass trim beads.

Gallery Price: 1,500.00


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