“I am aware that what I just captured was unique in the moment”
Ste Murray’s exhibition Still Life is comprised of a series of photographs of performances. Performances that differ ever so slightly each time they are staged, offering Murray a moment before it disintegrates. It is this notion of transience that inspired the title of the exhibition, Still Life. Traditionally still life was an ode to death. The flowers in the vase or the fruit in the bowl would only last so long before they withered and rotted. Responsibility fell on the shoulders of the artist to seize this beauty while it still existed. Murray accepts the responsibility of encapsulating a similar fleeting moment from the stage.
The images are mostly from smaller scale production companies and university productions. Originally Murray witheld images from larger performances such as the Fringe Festival from the exhibit, preferring to keep Still Life as a chapter one to the career that allows him to photograph extensions of himself.However, this time round, he decided to include them, offering a more varied palette. As an actor himself, Murray’s knowledge and understanding of his subject matter afford him an interaction with his work. Such insight results in images that ring true to the performance from which they stem.
The common thread between the pieces is theatre, but apart from that there is very little binding the collection. For Murray, there is a thrill in relocating Still Life, reconfiguring it to find new relationships and links between productions that originally had nothing in common. A new exhibit each time.
Originally housed in the Theatre Upstairs on Eden Quay, Still Life will reside in Smock Alley Theatre until March 18th.