The sculptures of Melissa Pierce Murray juxtapose strength and fragility, a tension between structure and fluidity, a moment poised between stillness and movement. Informed by the disciplines of poetry, physics and dance, she creates works with a sense of intimacy, relating back to the body, in relation to space, objects, or each other.
Murray’s work reflects an interest in the process of thinking through making, questioning where in this process the thinking becomes an object, and what sort of object this might be. This is reflected in her recent series of Choreographed Drawings, using pre-fashioned elements in site responsive improvisational installations.
The collaborative project Boundary Conditions combines her sculptures in performance with dancers, sound, and video projections and explores how we navigate scientific and emotional contexts to position ourselves within a multilayered space of interactions. In 2014 she contributed to a multimedia performance at the Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona, as part of the Barcelona Science Festival.
With influences ranging from material-based aesthetics to contemporary approaches to drawing and choreography, she uses forged steel, cast metals, carved wood, plaster and stone. Her works endeavor to give a sense of the beauty of human striving to connect and find our place in an awed, immense and uncompromising landscape.
After completing a degree in Physics and English Literature from the University of Colorado, USA, where she also raced bicycles and performed African Dance, she moved to the U.K, where she studied stone carving, welding and casting. In 2015 she completed a Masters Degree (Distinction) in Fine Art at Norwich University of the Arts. She has worked as a sculptor since 1999, undertaking private and public commissions, including works for the Rosie Maternity Hospital in Cambridge, and Eastleigh City Council in Hampshire. She has recently been awarded a Royal British Society of Sculptors Bursary Award.