FRANCESCA MAFFEO GALLERY TO OPEN IN LEIGH-ON-SEA PRESENTING EPHEMERA BY SPENCER MURPHY
The Francesca Maffeo Gallery is delighted to announce it will open its doors for the first time on Friday 17th June 2016 at 6.00pm, presenting Spencer Murphy’s Ephemera as its inaugural exhibition.
Founded by Francesca Genovese and named in honour of her grandmother, the gallery provides a welcoming space to experience, acquire and collect both contemporary and historical photography, showcasing the work of both emerging and established photographers.
Francesca Genovese’s background is as a contemporary photographic artist and a lecturer in photography.
She has managed photography departments in Further and Higher Education since 1999, and received her PGCE from the Institute of Education in 2000. In 2003, Francesca was awarded her MA in Photographic Studies from the University of Westminster.
The acquisition of knowledge and provision of education are the foundation of the Francesca Maffeo Gallery. Each exhibition will be accompanied by an artist’s forum and exhibition workshops, as well as opportunities for students and emerging photographers to seek support and guidance as they embark on their creative careers.
‘I want to create a space where everyone feels welcome to enjoy the work, engage with the themes and take something away, be it simply an experience, knowledge, or a piece with which to begin or expand their collection.’ (Francesca Genovese)Spencer Murphy has been selected for numerous awards, notably the Sony World Photography Award in 2014 and the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize in 2013. He has developed a broad portfolio of editorial work, which has been featured in publications such as The Telegraph Magazine, The Guardian Weekend and Time.
Born in 1978 and growing up in rural Kent, Murphy developed an early affinity with photography; as a child who grew up
in relative isolation, he took inspiration from the remoteness of his countryside surroundings. His work has been exhibited widely, with photographs held in the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection. His childhood friend, Cyrus Shahrad, describes Murphy’s personal work as ‘twilight kingdoms’, stating, ‘Our art comes from the same place – an attempt
to connect with the sublime hidden behind the everyday, to make sense of a finite life in an infinite universe.’
(‘Huck’ magazine; May 2014)
Curated by Francesca Genovese, Ephemera draws from Murphy’s personal archives, with the addition of new work, driven by his need to ‘go out on the road’ and be immersed in the quiet process of photographing, passing through spaces and places, transitioning with the camera, being still.
‘When the title was proposed I was reading Sally Mann’s memoir ‘Hold Still’ and was immersed in her journey through
the rediscovery of her own family ephemera. It presented itself as a somewhat serendipitous moment, a word synonymous with histories, with collecting, with the preservation of something fleeting and stilling.’ (Francesca Genovese)
The exhibition explores both the landscape and the portrait, all in Murphy’s discernable style, and at times pointing to a museum aesthetic. It is borne from our compulsion to record and preserve things that were only supposed
to be transient; we are collectors.
‘The title does well to describe what we do as photographers in the widest sense; it certainly describes my process
of collecting these moments that would perhaps be forgotten, trying to elevate something short-lived into something almost eternal.’ (Spencer Murphy)
Following the private view of Ephemera on 17th June from 6-8pm, the Francesca Maffeo Gallery will hold a celebratory Champagne Breakfast from 10am on Saturday 18th June, where members of the public are invited to enjoy the exhibition and explore the gallery.