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An Oculus Into Nature and Our Interconnectedness

An Oculus Into Nature and Our Interconnectedness

PHILADELPHIA--(August 12, 2019) – After three months in a biotech lab and a full year in her studio, artist Deirdre Murphy is showcasing her work at Esther Klein Gallery. During her BioArt Residency at the Science Center, Murphy conducted research at uCity Square-based company Integral Molecular, a molecular laboratory that focuses on curing viruses such as Ebola and HIV. The result is Oculus, a collection of work that explores the parallels between micro and macro, looking beyond the surface of nature and delving into the patterns that connect living things to each other and the world as a whole.

Oculus, a solo exhibition by Deirdre Murphy
August 15 - September 28, 2019

Opening Reception:
Thursday, August 15, 5-7:30 p.m.

Artist Talk @ Venture Café

Thursday, September 26, 4:30-5:30

Closing Reception:
Thursday, September 26, 5-7:30 p.m.

Murphy’s body of work containing paintings, prints, sculpture and public art touches on naturally-occurring phenomena like migratory avian flight patterns and their similarities to immigration routes, light pollution maps mirroring viral molecular patterns, and aerial views of watershed systems mimicking vascular patterns.

In the artist’s own words, “Through the act of creating, I am aware of being both infinitesimally minute and integrally part of a larger whole. It is this dichotomy and the vastness of these images that provides perspective to our humanity. I am simultaneously part of the diminutive matrix of nature and an observer of our capacious world. Visualizing the scientific data of flight maps and molecular structures became a language to describe my relationship to nature and to the inter-connected quality in our lives, thus illuminating a path to seeing the world anew. "

Deirdre Murphy earned her MFA degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her BFA degree from the Kansas City Art Institute. Murphy is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Lehigh University and has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. She has also been a visiting artist at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania College of Design, University of Texas, Philadelphia University, Kent State University, and Dickinson College. Deirdre Murphy is represented by the Gross McCleaf Gallery (Philadelphia), Boxheart Gallery (Pittsburgh) and Zinc Contemporary Gallery (Seattle).

Her work has been exhibited internationally and extensively in the U.S. in Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Delaware, Minnesota, Washington and Oregon. Institutions featuring her installations include the Philadelphia International Airport, Palm Springs Museum of Art, Biggs Museum of American Art, New Bedford Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. The recipient of numerous awards and grants, most notably a Percent for the Arts sculpture commission (Dublin, CA), the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowship and a Leeway Foundation award, she has been an artist-in-residence at Winterthur Museum (DE), Lacawac Field Station (PA), Powdermill Nature Reserve (PA), Hawk Mountain Sanctuary (PA), Vermont Studio Center (VT) and Pouch Cove Artist Residency (St. Johns, Newfoundland). Her work has been published in Symbiosis, New American Paintings and Fresh Paint Magazine. Murphy’s work can be found in various public and private collections including Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Museum, Temple University, AlphaMed Press and Gamblin Artists Colors.

This project was generously funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

About the Science Center

Located in the heart of uCity Square, the Science Center is a mission-driven nonprofit organization that catalyzes and connects innovation to entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. For 55+ years, the Science Center has supported startups, research, and economic development in the life sciences, healthcare, physical sciences, and emerging technology sectors. As a result, Science Center-supported businesses account one out of every 100 jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region and drive $13 billion in economic activity in the region annually. By providing resources and programming for any stage of a business’s lifecycle, the Science Center helps scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators take their concepts from idea to IPO – and beyond. For more information about the Science Center, go to

About the Esther Klein Gallery

The Esther Klein Gallery (EKG), which opened in 1977, uses the creative arts as a platform to explore relationships between art, science and technology. EKG seeks to positively impact the cultural life of both its immediate neighborhood of West Philadelphia and the broader Philadelphia community. EKG programming is designed to explore the range of art, science and technology exhibitions, and includes gallery talks, panel discussions, and education programs. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Kristen Fitch

Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing