Ireland of Yesteryear"
Under the High
Patronage of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II
Jack Murray in the Princess Grace Irish
The Princess Grace Irish Library
(Monaco) is to host an exhibition of portraits, landscapes and
interiors by Jack Murray Monday 19 March to Friday 13 April 2007
(Private View – Invitation Only
– Saturday 17 March – Saint Patrick’s Day)
Although born and educated in
Lisburn, Jack Murray has spent almost half his life
living and working abroad — in the USA, Australia, England and
now the Principality of Monaco.
His interest in art began at an
early age, encouraged by his parents who noticed their
six-year-old son drawing an impressive likeness of his hero
George Best. Although Jack had a spell as a portrait artist in
an American fairground during a summer vacation from University
where he was reading politics and economics, it was not until
the late 1990’s that he began to paint in oil. At this stage,
painting was a hobby but access to some of the world’s finest
art museums gradually transformed this pastime into passion.
Jack returned to Northern Ireland between 2000-2003 to run his
own art gallery. The idea behind the gallery was to make art
more accessible through the organising of unusual broad appeal
exhibitions. The gallery garnered significant media attention
and featured regularly in newspapers, radio and television
because of the anti-elitist approach to art. ‘Stripped’ an
exhibition of art without frames taped to the wall was a major
hit for the gallery. ‘Fake’, an exhibition of, well, fakes also
proved highly popular with the media and public alike. Java
Gallery was not just about eccentric exhibitions... it also
provided the first launch platform for many young artists in the
Jack is almost entirely
self-taught, although through the gallery he got to know and
learn from many established artists and emerging young talents.
His painting style is both realistic and sympathetic.
Unimpressed by modern art’s emphasis on self-expression and
abstraction, he turned down the opportunity to attend art
college. As he says, "How do abstract painters know they are
getting better? " Consequently, Jack has turned to the great
masters for guidance, visiting art collections the world over
and devouring voraciously books providing insight into classical
Jack Murray’s work has been
exhibited in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
During the private view at the
Princess Grace Irish Library, harpist Cécile Bonhomme and
flautist Stéphan-Gabriel Formhals will perform Irish music.
These musicians are part of Harpissimo — the only professional
harp orchestra in the world — created in 2000 by Stéphan-Gabriel.
Interview/photo opportunity with
Jack Murray (for press only): Saturday 17 March, 10:00-13:00
Private view (invitation only): Saturday 17 March - Saint
Patrick’s Day, 19:00-21:00 Public exhibition: Monday 19 March to
Friday 13 April, Monday-Friday (closed weekends), 11:00-17:00
Press enquiries and photos :
Judith Anne Gantley – Administrateur
Princess Grace Irish Library
9 rue Princesse Marie-de-Lorraine,
MC 98000 Monaco
Tel 00 377 93 50 12 25 / Fax 00
377 93 50 66 65 /
born in Lisburn in 1965 at the Lagan Valley hospital. My parents
are Doctor Denis Murray, a retired GP, who worked in Lisburn for
over 30 years.
His former GP partners included Doctor Paddy MacHugh, who passed
away many years ago, and Doctor Docherty, who still practices at
the health centre. My mother is Anne Murray who owned a
hairdressing salon in Bangor. Both are retired, still live in
Lisburn and members of the golf club!!
I have a twin brother Edward who has zero artistic ability, I
think I got that and he got the business brain. I went to school
at St Aloysius in Lisburn, then Rathmore Grammar in Finaghy,
college at Queens before leaving N Ireland, initially in 1987,
to travel in Australia and the Far East.
After returning in 1989 I moved to London where I lived until
2000 when I returned home to open an art Gallery (Java Gallery)
in Belfast. The gallery was great fun to do but I could earn
more doing what I had been doing i.e.
marketing and so I returned to UK after three years. Whilst
working at Del Monte in Staines (Ali G territory) I was invited
to take on a role that encompassed Europe, Africa and the Middle
East, based in Monaco. During all this period I continued to
paint but did not seek gallery representation.
I have now left Del Monte to concentrate on painting full time.
This was driven by the opportunity that was presented to me by
the Princess Grace Irish Library who saw some examples of my
work and asked to put on the exhibition which brings us to where
we are now.