"Art is a language meant to speak the things that can't be said." John DeMarco
Roberta Murray, ASA practices art full time with an emphasis on contemporary western imagery. It is the images and stories of the western landscape, flora, fauna and people, which inspire her paintings and photography. Striving to capture an emotion, Roberta abandons the documentary or realist approach to produce evocative images that allow the viewer to create their own story.
Working in oils or acrylics, Roberta creates painterly images by working mostly with the palette knife and a limited palette. She favours the softer tones and quiet light, and prefers to paint in a smaller size as it reflects her personality better. She dislikes being the centre of attention; and in a gathering of people prefers the quiet one on one conversations. By painting in a smaller size it creates more intimacy between the viewer and artwork. The viewer must get up close and interact on a more personal level to understand the story.
I have always been drawn to stories of the old west, where heroes were based on merit not occupation or wealth, and society worked together to build a better life for everyone. Whether it was through ancestral stories, western movies and song, or imagery, the west represents history, romance, and legend. In a society overburden with rules and barriers, the west also represents freedom and a spiritual connection to nature.
The First Nations representation that works their way into many of my images stem from dreams. These dreams speak about what is missing in most peoples lives; community, belonging, connectedness, respect, and living in a sustainable way. The teepee represents a rebellion against the current work to live model in a consumerism driven society.
Working largely with a palette knife to create loose representations of the land and First Nations symbolism, I paint to tell a guided journey of the soul. The interpretation lies within each individual, requiring a different set of senses to guide their own unique understanding. These paintings challenge the viewer to awaken the spirit and react on a primal, instinctual level.