28th October - 19th December 2021 


Parterre is an exhibition of new work by Hastings-based painter Jonathan Murphy. Inspired by plant life and outdoor spaces, the exhibition takes its name from a specific type of ornamental garden comprised of carefully arranged flowerbeds.


Parterre sees the artist use making as a process of research to investigate how form, space and structure can open up new dialogues within a painting practice.

Presented in ‘Parterre’ are two distinct bodies of work, the first being a series of paintings on canvas. These works been created over many months with dozens of layers being painted and repainted on each canvas. Larger canvases  represent a return to working at scale for Murphy and allow him the space to apply the techniques and motifs that are integral to his practice; scrapes, smudges, blends, cuts, combs and layers are combined with a subtle but striking use of colour, shape and composition. 


The second body of work is a series of oil paintings on paper that feature minimal compositions with bold, dynamic marks of paint, pencil and collage. These images were  made quickly – sheets of paper laid out on the floor were worked over in a single sitting without a preconceived idea of the final result. This contrasting approach is not in preparation for Murphy’s larger paintings, however, but instead another facet of the artists explorations of material.

Parterre embodies the artists dynamic approach to mark making and formalism, embodying the endless possibilities of painting. Jonathan Murphy uses the painting process as a form of enquiry, questioning representation and the space between recognition and repetition; through the act of making, the canvas becomes a testing ground for asking questions and exploring new ideas.

Jonathan Murphy Parterre (High Res)-26_edited.jpg