Murray Eskdale – Biography
Working in a bank for several years after leaving school, Murray realised he wanted to do something more. First gaining a Higher National Diploma in Photography at West Arts College, he then went on to enrol at Reading School of Art and Design, gaining a BA Hons in Photography and Digital Imaging, specialising in Art Photography. He was particularly drawn to architectural and industrial themes, which in time became the main focus of his work. Following graduation, Murray was able to engage his talents as Production Manager for Hyatt Studios in the U.K. In this role, he built on his studies and honed his skills: becoming an expert in Photoshop, editing and retouching images, and printing and finishing for a group of portrait and wedding photographers. Adventure called, however, and he set off to New Zealand in 2007. Murray travelled the country for five months before settling in Dunedin. He worked as a photographer, printer and framer in Dunedin, culminating with opening his own art gallery in 2011.Having the structured freedom of academic study allowed Murray to develop his creative vision and style, which combined with his expert industry skills, has lead to an extremely polished output of personal work. Although he grew up with a camera in his hand, it wasn’t until his early twenties that Murray saw the potential that photography had to provide order to his life. The search for order amongst chaos while simultaneously providing excitement is a major theme in Murray’s works. Rather than searching for an underlying sense of the world, Murray has been drawn to examine the way in which humans, their structures and technologies have created order. This hasn’t only been from a “humans as the destroyer” perspective but rather seeks to document the harmony between man and his surroundings. Early student works relied heavily on manipulation. As the artist and the creator, Murray used reflection, refraction and multiplication to create the patterns that were not naturally there. As his work has evolved, his perspective has shifted significantly, from creator to observer. Current works are heavily viewer-perspective based.
Murray now works from his studio in Dunedin where he has more focus on his own practice. Work has been regularly exhibited in New Zealand since 2011 and is part of many collections worldwide.
2022 Essay by Philip Madill