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Bria Murphy

Artist Statement

 “Rappelle-toi” Series
This is the first time I’ve created a body of work that includes a real message that I want to convey to my audience. I’ve always loved theories that suggest the idea that humans didn’t originate on Earth, and I’ve

always considered the possibility that we were brought here by other beings from other planets. I consider myself to be a very spiritual and open-minded person and I believe that we are all connected, and at one with the universe.


By definition, ‘Rappelle-toi’ means: remember (in french.) I feel like our society has caused a lot of self-hate and self-doubt among the African American community, and it’s time for that to end. It’s time for those of us who come from African descent to stand in our power, understand our full potential, and begin to love ourselves again. ‘Rappelle-toi’ is a reminder to people of all colors, especially those in the African American community, of how incredible we truly are.


This series has been full of new beginnings and challenges for me as an artist. This was my first time painting portraits on such a large scale and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to work this big. Now, I find working on a large scale so much easier and a lot more fun and I can’t see myself going back to smaller canvases.


Each piece in this series challenged me in it’s own way. Creating ‘Origin’ was a complete surprise that seemed to pour out of me. It wasn’t really planned, and came to me as I worked. I have learned about ancient civilizations that claim to have come from the star, Sirius. Since learning of it’s existence, Sirius has become my favorite star, so I included it in the center of her neck. I can’t even really identify why it’s my favorite star, but I’ve always felt a connection to, and have been fascinated by it.


‘Origin II’ was extremely challenging because it was pretty much an exact replica of ‘Origin’ and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to re-create her successfully. She also took a lot longer than the original, which I found very frustrating. ‘Origin III’ was the largest scale portrait I had ever attempted. I painted ‘Origin IV’ to broaden my message, and really highlight this idea that all humans did not originate on Earth and that we are an incredible species. Initially, I wasn’t happy with this piece, but I ended up falling in love with her by the time I finished. ‘V’ was a huge challenge because it was the hardest head of hair I have ever painted. I also included the constellations, Orions Belt, and Pleiades as focal points, and placed some in less obvious spots in each of these pieces. I never knew I was capable of producing work like this before. I intend to continue this series and include more races/colors in the future.


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