Hannah Murgatroyd

Hannah Murgatroyd (b. 1976, Dartmoor, UK) lives and works between Bath and Devon, UK. She graduated from the Royal Drawing School, London in 2006 after completing her MA at the Royal College of Art in 2005 and her BA at the University of Brighton in 1999. Working across an open narrative of painting and drawing, Murgatroyd’s practice has emerged as a timely, virtuosic expression of social community, femininity and desire, bound in a voluptuous filigree of line and colour and executed in varying tempos. Her idiosyncratic cast of characters and fantastical landscapes synthesise art historical tropes, popular culture and lived experience with depictions of the male and female body in a dramaturgy of enigmatic spectacles. What reveals itself through Murgatroyd’s exceptional adroitness and imagination is a window onto a version of the world - eroticised, ambiguous and engaged deeply with surface. In the artist’s own words, ‘I have always pursued an idea of eroticism through bodily self-possession existing beyond any external gaze. The characters’ eyes never look outward in my painting, a conscious liberation from the possessive gaze of the viewer - whether male or female – as I hand them the freedom of the painted world.’ The first London show of Murgatroyd's paintings was in 2018 in the group survey Women Can’t Paint at Turps & ASC Galleries, curated by Marcus Harvey and exhibiting alongside the likes of Rose Wylie and Mali Morris. Murgatroyd’s work has featured in several other group exhibitions, including Paintings on, and with Paper, Cob Gallery, London (2020); Our Souls to Keep(curated by Lissa Rivera of the Museum of Sex), Field Projects, New York (2018); Clay Rendering, Century Club, London (2018); The Story of Zebedee, Von Goetz, London (2018); Spike Island Open, Bristol (2018); Night Follows Night, Gallery 98, Ramsgate (2018); and Turps Cloud, Turps Gallery, London (2018). She is featured in the Anomie Review of Contemporary British Painting (Casemate Publishing, 2018) for her solo show at Exeter Phoenix in 2017. Murgatroyd won the Exeter Contemporary Open in 2014 and her work was featured in the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2008.