"Paintwork": The solo exhibition from a Gray's Graduate in Residence

By Jenny Frost - 21 October 2022

Marcus Murison, former Graduate in Residence at Gray's School of Art and now Lecturer in Painting, is launching his solo exhibition on Wednesday 26 October. He shares more about his experience as a Graduate in Residence, his practice, and his future at Gray's.

WHAT IS YOUR EXHIBITION ABOUT?

This exhibition is about my enquiry into the overlooked situations I encounter within our urban environments. Specifically, during my residency this past year, my research has focused on the spaces of building sites and the activity within them. I am interested in these sorts of spaces as I’m intrigued by their liminal and ephemeral qualities. This exhibition in a wider sense is talking about how we observe the environments we find ourselves in, being open to explore, and document our ever-changing landscapes.

What does it mean to be hosting a solo exhibition?

It’s a great opportunity to showcase what I have been up to for the past year and celebrate my time as a Graduate in Residence at Gray's School of Art, but also to celebrate me moving forward into the next chapter of my practice.  

How have you found being a Graduate in residence at Gray’s?

It’s been a fantastic year to be honest and feel very grateful for the opportunity. During Covid, I didn’t have access to my studio, so my practice went by the wayside, and I didn’t create any work for well over a year.  So coming back to Gray's to create a new body of work, and being surrounded by new faces, was initially challenging. But after a while I got settled and felt comfortable with where I was and what I was pursuing.

I’ve enjoyed the interaction with staff, students, guest lecturers and artists coming by and seeing what I am up to and having conversations about the work. That dialogue has been invaluable throughout this year. As a student, I always enjoyed the conversations I had with the Graduates in Residence, getting to know them a little bit better, and understanding their processes. It’s nice how it has come full circle. 

How has Gray’s supported you?

Gray's has helped me by giving me access to great studio space of course, as well as workshops, technicians, and by giving me the opportunity to be surrounded by great staff and students.  

How do you think Gray’s differs from other art schools in Scotland with its artist in residence scheme?

Gray's is a small community. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that I find it pretty special. I like the fact everyone knows who everyone is, instead of passing strangers by in the corridor. It’s a great programme to support recent graduates with time and space to explore and try new things within their practice. It also helps with gaining some teaching experience if that is something you’d like to try and delve into.  

I understand you are now a lecturer in Painting at Gray’s. How do you hope to use your experience as a Graduate in residence in your teaching?

I feel like it has been a natural transition coming in from a Graduate in Residence to a Lecturer as I had gained a varied amount of teaching experience throughout this residency. I not only feel very grateful for the opportunity to be the Graduate in Residence for painting for the past year, but to also be invited back to teach for the next year.  

What would you say to anyone considering becoming a Graduate in resident?

Be open to experimenting and trying new things. And also make sure to use the workshops whilst you can!

Marcus' exhibition "Paintwork" will take place between Wednesday 26 October and Wednesday 2 November at Gray's School of Art. Opening times are 08.00 - 21.00 from Monday to Friday, 09.00 - 18.00 on Saturday, and 09.00 - 15.00 on Sunday. 

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