Interview with Grace Murphy for CCP x Hahnemühle Summer Salon 2023

Photography by Grace Murphy

To celebrate the CCP x Hahnemühle Summer Salon 2023 we talk to Grace Murphy, a 22-year-old fine arts graduate. Growing up surrounded by beautiful landscapes in Gunaikurnai Country (Baw Baw) allowed Grace's innate creativity to flourish, and when gifted a camera at the age of 13, Grace used photography to capture, explore, and forge connections.

Learn more about the narrative behind Grace's submitted works and read more about Grace's ongoing project Chosen Family below.

Thoughts Overgrown (2023)

Hey Grace, tell us about yourself, your background and how you ended up in photography?

I am a 22 year old photography student from Naarm/ Melbourne, just this week graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Photography) from the Victorian College of the Arts.

I’ve grown up in the city for most of my life but I spent a lot of my childhood in Gunaikurnai Country (Baw Baw). Growing up surrounded by beautiful landscapes sparked my love for drawing and painting at a young age. Even though my childhood drawing and painting skills haven’t transpired into my twenties, this creativity definitely transformed into my love for photography. My dad grew up loving photography, passing down this love by giving me my first camera when I was 13. Ever since I’ve used this medium as a tool to capture and connect to the environment, my community, my queerness and myself.

What is the story behind your submitted works?

Two of the works submitted, Forgone Fields and Framing Waste were from my series titled Silhouettes in my Memory (2022). This series was an act of exploring forgotten memories by going back to a childhood home and town after 10 years. I wanted to explore the detached sense of self and belonging that arises when revisiting place and memory. It was a really moving series for me. I found it a lot more difficult than I was anticipating. The process of going back to somewhere that was a core part of my childhood really made me pose the question, that when the place hasn’t changed but you have, how does that connection alter?

The other work, Thoughts Overgrown (2023) was an outtake from a recent shoot I was doing for my ongoing project Chosen Family. The artwork features one of my best friends, Stephanie. I was privileged enough to interview Steph for a video work for the project, discussing what ‘chosen family’ and being queer means to them. This portrait was an opportunity to capture them at this moment in time.

Which is stronger to you, the influence of people, or the influence of place?

My practice is predominantly about connecting with people and community, and allowing me to portray these individual experiences through photographic and moving image forms. So I would say the influence of people, but as people are naturally connected to place, this influence is a constant in my work too.

When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?

I love markets and eating good food, thrifting, looking at art with my partner, reading, spontaneous day trips out of the city, going to concerts and gigs and experiencing the world with my friends.

What are you working on next?

Currently, I am working on a project titled Chosen Family (2023-), a term that defines queer kinship and community. It has become an ongoing project that explores the intricacies and richness of the queer experience, utilising the mediums of moving image, photography, interview, and installation. It has taken me almost 8 years to become comfortable and experience the full capacity of queer joy within myself and the community around me. I think this project has been a long time coming for me, honestly since I was 17. I had this desire to capture my experience of queerness for the first time, but I didn’t feel brave enough. Seeing my practice transform into a space that allows me to connect with my community through photography, video and interview, has been an incredibly joyful and fulfilling experience. Documenting my life, my friends who have become family and my partner, almost serves as an act of holding my younger self and showing her the beautiful life we have being openly queer.

My three artworks will be on display at the CCP x Hahnemühle Summer Salon 2023 until December 16th, 2023. You can also see my graduation show at the Victorian College of the Arts this week until November 30th, 2023.

All new and ongoing works of the Chosen Family project and other works can be found on my Instagram @gracebanks_.

Where can people see more of your work?

My three artworks will be on display at the CCP x Hahnemühle Summer Salon 2023 until December 16th, 2023.

All new and ongoing works of the Chosen Family project and other works can be found on my Instagram @gracebanks_.

This website uses cookies. Please see our Privacy Policy to learn more about how we use cookies.