Murat Urlali

MURAT’S ROMA, perceptions, remembrances, places – March 2020

Exhibition

Free entry

In the spring of 2018, Murat had the good fortune (although those who have come to know him and his work would say that this was a well-earned recognition of his talent) to spend three months in The Eternal City, as a painter in residence at the British School at Rome. Murat used this time to explore the city and its surroundings, choosing an area to explore, or indeed to get lost in, every day, as well as hanging out with his Renaissance Art idols at every opportunity. Rome is indeed a monumental city, where it easy to be entranced by the grandeur of buildings and of piazze with their spectacular fountains. And not forgetting the sheer ‘campery’ of religious spectacles – like the meticulously choreographed sound and light show in the left transept of the Chapel of St. Ignatius of Loyola, where a painted altarpiece slowly descends to reveal a silver statue depicting St. Ignatius getting ready to nip off up to heaven – every afternoon around 5.30 PM. Or time-travelling at San Clemente where if you permit your eye to hone in on details, like Murat, you will encounter geometrical, cosmatesque shapes and patterns that have been transported from the Islamic East, from Byzantium. An important caveat from the artist and his grandmother however – never ignore the periphery for your eye might just capture something magical: djinns – spirits of the forest – some of them good, others not – but always red-headed. You might just be surprised what you can witness on a quiet afternoon spent with the cherry blossoms at the Parco Centrale del Lago or an early, early morning at the Vatican or at the Piazza Navona before the throngs of tourists and flâneurs descend. In this collection, Murat, continuing his journey through a Camp lens, has minimised the use of the paintbrush – quite the challenge for a painter. What you are experiencing here is an exploration of ‘needlework’, reminiscent of Persian relief painting, with industrial enamel paint painstakingly applied and manipulated by needles to create both detail and whimsy. Sydney, February 2020 

More