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We love Liam Murphy!

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 Liam is one of those quirky characters that you immediately want to be mates with. Besides his killer wit, Liam is also an amazingly talented artists and one of our favourite Jumbled Art Collective members. We pinned Liam down recently between painting and cutting up apples for his kids to chat about life, art and when he is at his happiest. We promise it'll be a fun read! 


Liam, we bloody love your art - tell us about how it all went down in the beginning?"Thanks!! I've always loved art and have always painted, sometimes heaps and sometimes bugger all, but usually just for myself. It wasn't until my sister asked me to do some artworks for her design studio (@lovelockstudio - check her out, super talented, humble and the loudest laugh in Victoria) that I started painting in earnest. I put on a few exhibitions and heaps of beers for friends and well wishers, kept going and here I am!"

What is it with lines? "Ha ha! They all come from doodling. I've sat through many, many, many boooooring meetings doodling away. I work these up into artworks. I love how you can make something complex and layered by repeating the same thing over and over and over and over again!"

Where do you draw inspo? "Everywhere! Kids artwork is a big one, I teach art part-time at a local school and love how fearless the little buggers are. I also love finding colour inspiration from random places; old rally cars, skateboards, flannelette shirts, ice-creams, rugs..."

You're also handy with timber and frame your own artworks...is there anything you can't do? "There's so much I can't do! I'm really bad at folding fitted sheets, remembering the names of people, washing windows and watering the indoor plants...I do enjoy making things though and love how beautiful old timber can be with a bit of hard work. I don't make many frames nowadays, I ended up spending longer making frames than I was painting! I've got a great supplier now who makes beautiful simple frames for my paintings: shoutout to Gavin and the crew at Createart in Eumundi - love your work!"

Tell us a bit about family life? "My family and I live in a beautiful part of the world here in Port Fairy; great beaches, shops, cafes, heaps of fun and funny friends too. I have a beautiful smart-arse wife Jo and three cute kids, Maeve, Chas and Ines. We live in an awesome 1960's home and we've just finished building a studio which is frequently covered in kids paint, dog hair and washing."

What's been the best thing to happen in your career so far? "Definitely the support and belief from people I care about. When I put my first exhibition on for some reason I never considered the chance that no-one would buy any of my work, I think I was just so busy working full time, parenting and painting that the thought never crossed my mind. It was only when the first people rocked in to the show and started looking at the artworks that I thought, 'Oh shit! What the hell have I done?! What was I thinking?!' Luckily it ended up a great success, we had a great time and people were so supportive and kind. I sold heaps of paintings and ceramics to family, friends and kind strangers! It was, and is, very humbling."

When are you at your happiest? "When I'm set up in the studio, with a cup of tea, a painting on the go, music going. If not there, talking shit with friends over a beer or coffee. Cooking dinner for friends and family. Camping. Laughing. Eating. Usually eating."

What is something not many people know about you? "I'm really good at accurately choosing the exact-perfect sized container for leftovers. (Seriously!)"

What exciting things do you have planned for 2019 - what can we look forward to next? "I'm in the process of making some more ceramics for the first time in a couple of years which is exciting but inherently frustrating! I'm also part of a group exhibition later in the year in Melbourne, so I'm busy working away trying to hold onto some work for that!"

The Jumbled Quickie:

  1. The first thing you do when you have spare time: Paint! I don't have much spare time, but I also like op-shopping, reading last weekend's paper and playing board games with the kids.
  2. Guilty pleasure: Billy Joel
  3. Dream Collaboration: Ken Done, John Olsen, Gorman, Kip and Co, maybe some super-massive mural for a cutting-edge label in Japan or a highly-paid small series of work aboard a mega-yacht in the Mediterranean for an aloof Russian oligarch. Anyone keen?
  4. Hidden Talent: Dancing? Plus I'm really good at cutting up apples for the kids.
  5. One thing from your bucket list: I'd love to hike the Milford track in New Zealand with my Dad and five siblings. And travel from Singapore to Europe with my family. That's two sorry!
  6. Favourite Spotify Playlist: This is the hardest question! Everything! Elvis, Courtney Barnett, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, The Beastie Boys, Beck, Dandy Warhols, Sharon Jones, Lou Reed, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, David Bowie, Creedence, The Living Eyes, Radio Birdman, Fraser A Gorman, Kanye West, Kurt Vile, Hood Gurus, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, PJ Harvey, RL Burnside, The Cruel Sea, The Avalanches, Dr John, Rolling Stones, Bruuuuuce, Paul Kelly, Tom Petty, Led Zeppelin, Marlon Williams, The Snakes, The Go-Betweens, Jurassic 5, The Murlocs, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, The Sonics, CW Stoneking, Steve Earle, Gonzo...
  7. Go-to meal to cook when you have friends over? Paella
  8. Craziest thing you've ever done: I can't really say, but it involved a one-eyed dog and a 1927 Rolls Royce in Austin, Texas.
  9. Last book you read: The Lost Man: Jane Harper.
  10. Favourite family tradition: Giving dad shit about his moustache.

Shop Liam Murphy right here at Jumbled

You can also see more over on Insta @lmurphy_art 

Photography: Joanne O'Keefe 

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