November 2017

THE TWINS was included in the Sydney Story Factory auction if you can tell a story… 2017, which raised $80,000 to run writing programs for kids across Sydney. The response to The Twins “You can hear everyone screaming at the horse at the grand ball. It’s hilarious” - James from Woolloomooloo.

SECTION CC 2017, ink on paper, 76x93cm
Or death to the plastic drinking bottle, a homage to the thousands of plastic water bottles that go to landfill or are dumped in the ocean, on one of my dead filed architectural drawings from a past life.

Finalist Greenway Art Prize 2017



Art For the Planet

Over October Ro and artists Jane Gillings, Dean Sewell and David Cragg, were featured in the public art exhibition ART FOR THE PLANET at Darling Quarter, curated and produced by aMBUSH Gallery.


Ro’s work sort to expose the ongoing and often hidden destruction of wilderness areas caused by long wall coal mining. The sculpture/paintings Banksia sculptorii and Araucaria explorii , oil on plywood, are a fusion of human and tree. They represent Rae and Yuri Bolotin, whose property is opposite Wollemi National Park, adjoining the Garden of Stones National Park. And the river ran black…a work of mixed media on paper – features drawings that interpret Yuri’s mapping project , where notable landforms in the garden of stones is given a presence by naming them, to help preserve this world Heritage Wilderness from destruction. 

The river ran black

The river ran black

Banksia sculptorii.jpg
Araucaria explorii

Araucaria explorii


Ro coordinated eleven artists in a group exhibition “Another Perspective with Paper” at Grace Cossington Smith Gallery Wahroonga during July. The artists were Mandy Burgess, Marguerite de Fondaumiere, Wendy Edwards, Renuka Fernando, Lisa Giles, Tilly Lees, Pamela Leung, Jacqueline Maureira, Ro Murray, Mirra Whale, Lisa Woolfe, and curated by Christiane Keys-Statham.

Coal Fired mixed media 2015-17

Coal Fired mixed media 2015-17

Boy on the Pony I and II, drawing on lithograph 2017

Boy on the Pony I and II, drawing on lithograph 2017

Willoughby City Council as part of the Willoughby Visual Art Biennial commissioned a new work by Ro for an installation in the Council Foyer, on view over September. The installation Coves, Cliffs and Creeks is drawings and sculpture in the two glass cabinets, the wall and the glass Entry Doors.

 (detail) acrylic marker, acrylic 2017

 (detail) acrylic marker, acrylic 2017

 (detail) ink and acrylic on rag paper 2017

 (detail) ink and acrylic on rag paper 2017


As part of the art health program at the cancer clinic, Ro undertook a three-week art residency with Arterie over June 2017, painting on the glass walls around Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. The project is a development of her project PROFILE2050 at RPA Hospital last year, where Ro profiled by marker pen eighty-one people on glass, Portrait1952 profiles forty-five people in acrylic paint, with the first letter of their name and year of birth.



This group exhibition with Murray and Burgess, Deborah Burdett, Susannah Williams, and Renuka Fernando at Chrissie Cotter Gallery in Camperdown end of April was a development of their work from their exhibition The Waiting Room at Articulate Project Space. Murray and Burgess continued their development of home/homelessness with Passage. A labyrinth of spaces, lightly screened off with green fabric, strangely connecting to the tennis courts outside the French doors. With thanks to Inner West Council for their sponsorship. 


Work Around The Parramatta River

Two more outside installations by Murray and Burgess. The hydro stone figures The Battlers, who represented the women who saved Kelly’s Bush at Hunters Hill from development, and the first green ban, was selected finalist for Harbour Sculpture at Clarkes Point Woolwich in March. also selected was Ro’s work Araucaria explorii, a painted plywood silhouette of Yuri Bolotin, the conservationist for the Garden of Stones National Park, for the Inside Works exhibition.

The cluster of nine women and four children was also selected by Inner West Council for Art on the Greenway, on Hawthorn Canal near Lilyfield Bridge, appropriately amongst the trees by the water.

North Side Art Prizes

March is a busy month for Murray and Burgess with the installation of new works on the harbour.

The biennial North Sydney Art Prize is at the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability at Balls Head - opening 11 March. Murray and Burgess were selected finalist for the stacked hydro stone hands We are all the Same. Ro’s eleven painted silhouettes No Place for Children is also a finalist, installed in the tunnel. This is an exciting place to explore with works in the newly excavated chambers of the adjoining tunnel. Daily 10am - 5pm, 11 - 26 March 2017.

Come visit Harbour Sculpture at Clarkes Point Reserve Woolwich to view Murray and Burgess' new work The Battlers in the trees and homesweethome in the Deckhouse. Ro’s work Araucaria explorii has also been selected. Ro will be on site 11.30am-3.30pm Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 April. The exhibition runs 16 March - 2 April 2017.

Murray and Burgess testing green fabric for The Battlers. Read this about this land mark ruling. 

The Waiting Room

Ro and Mandy coordinated a group exhibition The Waiting Room 3-19 February 2017 at Articulate project space with fellow NAS Grads Deborah Burdett, Renuka Fernando, and Susie Williams. Bridging by Murray and Burgess develops further the concept of home/homelessness, with regard to waiting in offshore refugee detention centres. 

Fictitious Botanical Names

My plywood profiles have developed as landscapes through paint and truncation.

Araucaria explorii 2016 started with the figure of Yuri Bolotin the co-director of BigCi, during my artist residency November 2015. Yuri explores names and records The Gardens of Stones. The work was developed for Harbour Sculpture at Woolwich 16-26 March, installed inside at the Deckhouse. Also was selected the canvas framed homesweethome by Murray and Burgess, and our hydro stone figures The Battlers, a work in progress.

The diptych Wollemia vanessii 2016 also started at this residency at BigCi. The documentary film maker Vanessa Macedo was the winner of the Environment Prize at BigCi. Vanessa made a short advocacy film for the conservation of the Garden of Stones against coal mining.

The hydro stone hands by Murray and Burgess have been refigured to We are all the Same at North Sydney Art Prize at The Coal Loader Site for Sustainability at Balls Head. Opening Ceremony 2pm Saturday 11 March.  Also selected is my installation of eight figures No Place for Children.

What Next

Diptych Wollemia vanessii 2016, oil on plywood, has been accepted for a group exhibition RENEW at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse 21-25 November. The exhibition showcases the importance and connection between art & health and coincides with the symposium being held on Thursday “exploring the essence of patient centered care.” This work will be part of Articulate project space group exhibition “What Next” 10-26 December.

Wollemia vanessii 2016

Wollemia vanessii 2016

We are all Strangers (collaboration with Mandy Burgess) was selected finalist for Sculptures in the Vineyards, can be seen in the poplar groveat Stonehurst Vineyard. Despite no funding there were great installations by Akira Kamada, Billy Gruner and Greer Taylor at Undercliff Winery, and Fiona Davies in the Forge, amongst others at the five sites around Wollombi.

We are all Strangers (2016) installed at Sculptures in the Vineyards.

We are all Strangers (2016) installed at Sculptures in the Vineyards.

Girl in the Bark Hat I and No place for Children are selected finalists into Blacktown Art Prize, Opening 2 December.

Girl in the Bark Hat I, 2016

Girl in the Bark Hat I, 2016

No place for Children, 2016

No place for Children, 2016

2017 kicks off with a new group exhibition - The Waiting Room -  at Articulate Project Space opening 3 February 2017. Artists include - Mandy Burgess, Deborah Burdett, Susie Williams and Renuka Fernando

Emerging Artist Winner

The installation “Bush Tucker Doesn’t Use Plastic” reinvented itself amongst the she-oaks at Sculpture at Sawmillers McMahons Point, like plants in different landscapes, soils or seasons, and won me the Emerging Artist Prize (within 6 years from graduating).

Sculpture at Sawmillers Emerging Artist Winner - Ro Murray

Sculpture at Sawmillers Emerging Artist Winner - Ro Murray

Exhibition Openings - Sawmillers & Meroogal

The installation “Bush Tucker Doesn’t use Plastic” has been selected for Sculpture at Sawmillers McMahons Point. The exhibition will be opened by Quinten Bryce 3.30pm Saturday 17 September, until Sunday 25 September, otherwise the sculptures are on view in Sawmillers Reserve by the Harbour.

The lime wash pink hands “Ten Maids a-Making,” made with Mandy Burgess, has been selected finalist Meroogal Womens Art Prize.

“Selected works will be displayed throughout the house and garden of Meroogal – a [two storey weatherboard] Gothic house in Nowra that was home to four generations of women from the Thorburn and MacGregor families. Artists were invited to create works that respond to the house, the garden and the collection of objects, throwing new light on the personal stories of the people who lived there”. Sydney living Museums 

Mandy and I highlighted the daily work the women at Meroogal did by hand: sewing, cooking, working in the dairy.

The exhibition opens Saturday 24 September in Nowra, on exhibition until 28 January 2017.

“We are all Strangers” - Murray & Burgess

After the test photo shoots down south at Milton, all 80 odd hydro-stone hands “We are all Strangers” by Murray and Burgess, has been selected on the beach for Sculpture at Killalea Shellharbour 13-16 October.

The hands have also been selected for Sculptures in the Vineyards Wollombi, opening 29 October till 11 December.

Bush Tucker doesn’t use Plastic - Finalist

“Bush Tucker doesn’t use Plastic” has been selected finalist for the inaugural Sculptural Walk at Kur-ing-gai Wild flower Garden, Mona Vale Road St Ives, opening Saturday 27 August till 4 September.

“Bush Tucker…”  has also been selected for  Sculptures at Sawmillers McMahon’s Point, opening Saturday 17 September till 25 September. The work responds to the sites in different ways. 

Save our Art Schools.

There have been two recent proposals two amalgamate Sydney art schools.

SCA was to amalgamate with UNSWAD (the old COFA) in 2017. Instead they will be forced from their Rozelle studios to the Camperdown /Darlington Sydney University campus, with no purpose built accommodation, and a major cut in staff. There is now a sit-in protest at their College in Rozelle in protest. In solidarity I demonstrated outside AGNSW, holding the banner.

SCA at Art GalleryNSW .JPG

The National Art School at Darlinghurst is also under threat, with ownership of the prpoarty changing from Dept of education to State, which has been at the heritage sandstone Darlinghurst The rally walked to Parliament House Macquarie Street to in the rain, blocking Oxford Street. The move is part of suggestions by the Baird Government to change the way the three Sydney art schools are run, essentially combining some of their operations with Sydney University and the UNSW.

“The move has drawn criticism from supporters of the arts who say the reason for making changes to the National Art School is part of a land grab by the Baird Government to sell off and develop the site of the school which sits on prime real estate in Sydney's Darlinghurst.

The ownership of the site recently changed from the NSW Department of Education to Government Properties NSW.” Brooke Boney ABC News 28/8/16


Campaign with Clover

Campaign with Clover and the Independent Team. The upcoming local elections on 10 September has me walking the beat. I’m finding a big smile does help!

As other councils have been forced to consolidate with appointed administrators, Sydney Council is going to a democratic election.

My drawing WALK on found billboard posters will go to auction at the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation Goodhope Street Paddington, 6-8pm 6 September.

WALK will be amongst works by Wendy Sharp, Bernard Ollis, Janet Laurence, Lindy Lee, Gordon Bennett and Locust Jones.

Milton Ulladulla Times

Thanks to Ron Aggs for including a feature on the Murray-Burgess hands in a recent article in the Milton Ulladulla Times. This work has been accepted for Sculpture at Killalea, Shell Harbour.

"GARDEN POP-UP: These 80 hands took several months to make, the artists' response to the global refugee crisis and what they regard as Australia’s inhumane off-shore detention centres. Photo: Ken Banks"

"GARDEN POP-UP: These 80 hands took several months to make, the artists' response to the global refugee crisis and what they regard as Australia’s inhumane off-shore detention centres. Photo: Ken Banks"

Murray & Burgess - homesweethome

Ro Murray and Mandy Burgess in collaboration for the installation:


Opening drinks Saturday 2 July 2-4pm
Closing drinks Sunday 10 July 2-4pm

2-10 July: Thursday to Sunday 11am-4pm
Chrissie Cotter Gallery, Pidcock Street, Camperdown


1 in every 122 people in the world are displaced (2014 UNHCR Report)

There were 367 children in immigration detention seeking asylum in Australia as of April 2016(Asylum Seeker Resource Centre)

 “The shrinking of imaginative identification which allows such things as shared humanity to be forgotten always begins at home” (Robinson 2012, 31) (Imagining…P16)

Home is a ‘spatial imaginary’ to which we attach feelings of both refuge and danger. It includes in its meaning an idea of where we can safely settle and daydream, but also an idea of exclusion. It encompasses the gamut of what it means to be human. Our exhibition homesweethome looks at the notion of home in the light of global displacement and the local detention of refugees and asks us to look at our human responses to crisis.

At Chrissie Cotter Gallery -  Entry space: we are all strangers, 2016, wire, hessian, plaster, dimensions variable Main space: home, 2015-16, plywood, wood, canvas, paint, stain, wire, dimensions variable.

Bush Tucker Doesn't Use Plastic

This installation in Sculpture on the Greens is a reminder of how much non-biodegradable plastic we purchase every day. The work uses 5 months of saved plastic containers from my breakfast blue berries and yoghurt, found poly piping and cable spools.

On view at Mercure Kooindah Waters Wyong until 22 May