Matthew Murray, ‘Col from the 'Ska' series’, 2013, ElliottHalls

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Series: "Ska". Murray’s unpretentious treatment of his subjects, encourages the viewer to feel like a participant, rather than just an observer. We are invited to view the world through Murray’s unaffected and honest eyes, without judgement, cynicism or sarcasm, as Murray’s images are never mocking or condescending. Ska, is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s, as a precursor to Rocksteady and Reggae music. In 1960 the first Ska record was cut and with the migration of many Jamaicans to the United Kingdom. Ska was picked up by many of the white working class kids that the Jamaicans moved next door to and by the late 1960s it became popular with the British Mod movement. Then perhaps, somewhat ironically, later with the controversially racist Skinhead movement. However, the Skinhead roots weren’t originally political, but based solely on the sleek styling of the Mod culture of the 1960s and Jamaican Rude Boys, and their music. It was only later that the word Skinhead became synonymous with Neo-Nazism. However, during this varied and influential spread of Ska music throughout British music and culture, over the past 60 years, a section of dedicated Ska followers stayed firmly true to its original roots. Not only in the tunes themselves, but also equally as important within the striking visual style, which has become key to the Ska movement. These people photographed by Murray and that follow Ska music and regularly visit Ska clubs are not political, they just live for the music and quite simply love to dance. Murray has exhibited internationally, including England, France, China & The Netherlands.

Signature: Signed & editioned in ink verso

Image rights: © Matthew Murray/Gallery Vassie. All rights reserved.

Matthew Murray

About Matthew Murray

British, b. 1968, based in Birmingham, United Kingdom

Solo Shows

2017
MAC
Birmingham, UK,
Saddleworth: Responding To A Landscape
2014
FotoFactory, 
Amsterdam, Netherlands,
Three Series
2012
Amsterdam Photography Festival, 
Amsterdam, Netherlands,
Murray's World
2011
Amsterdam, Netherlands,
Murray's World
2006
The New Art Gallery, 
Walsall, UK,
Factor 15
2004
Hug Gallery, 
Amsterdam, Netherlands,
Red Pants
2004
Symphony Hall, 
Birmingham, UK,
Poppleganger
1996
Birmingham Central Library, 
Birmingham, UK,
Heartlands People

Group Shows

2018
Manchester Central Library, 
Manchester, UK,
Hit the North
2012
London Street Photography Festival, 
London, United Kingdom,
The International Street Photography Awards 2012
2005
Huis Marseille/Foundation for Photography, 
Amsterdam, Netherlands,
Made in Britain
2002
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, 
Birmingham, UK,
Something Old, Something New
View Artist's CV