Ryan Sarah Murphy is a visual artist living and working in New York City. Her collage-based work is process-driven and incorporates the use of found and repurposed materials from her daily experience. She responds to the inherent energy within discarded, repurposed and reconsidered objects, allowing the material to act as the guide, moving through the development of a piece with no set plan or intended outcome.
Her approach to art-making is wholly collaborative, wherein attention rests soundly on the material, and the material in turn determines the course of action. The impulse to construct, assemble, layer and gather is always present. She is drawn to found cardboard, a highly utilized, indispensable and yet seemingly valueless component of daily life. As a compulsively overlooked throw-away, she’s interested in how this simple, abundant and inherently impermanent material can be structured into quiet surfaces conveying both formation and dilapidation simultaneously. Found color is an enormous prompt, an irrefutable harbinger of potential forms and possibilities.
“In my wall reliefs made of cardboard and hardback book covers, I never paint, alter or enhance the natural color of the materials, be it a shoebox or a frozen food carton. Cutting and tearing away any text, logos or product branding, I use the remaining color fragments as the starting point in constructing new forms. The surfaces are not treated in any way to prevent the material from changing or deteriorating as it naturally will. The emergent themes I tend to arrive at again and again are all routed in landscape. There is a seemingly incessant drive to find grounding and placement in a widely untethered space. The physical handling and construction of my chosen materials speaks to an elusive architectural instinct. I have found these collages are a subconscious examination of space – both the concrete environment of the city and the interior dwelling of the self.”