Artist Profile
Your friend the enemy

Idris Murphy

Idris Murphy won the 2014 Gallipoli Art Prize with his painting Gallipoli Evening 2013, which was inspired by the place as well as a recent discovery of 160 letters written by grandfather Charles Idris Pike from the battlefields of Gallipoli and the Western Front to his sweetheart Violet (who later became Charles’ wife).


Your Friend the Enemy – the title of this exhibition – is inspired by these very letters and Murphy’s deeply emotional response to the place and its history.

Murphy is one of the most individual and highly respected artists working in Australia. His career as a painter has been widely lauded, with early recognition in the form of a travel scholarship provided by Dame Elizabeth Murdoch, and judged by Fred Williams. and more recently, he was one of the featured artists in the SBS documentary Two Thirds Sky- Artists in Desert Country.

Murphy is a respected educator and artist who has been the driving force behind the promotion and building of a series of accommodation and studios for both Australian and International artists in the outback of NSW; the only ongoing such project in Australia.

Idris Murphy’s work is held in the public collections of the National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Australia, Federal Parliament House Art Collection and the Art Gallery of NSW, State Library of New South Wales and the State Library of Queensland.


Image: Lone Pine, 2013,  acrylic on board, 120x110cm
Courtesy the artist

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