James William Murray Studio Portrait 2019.jpg

I make sculptures and photographs that explore formal-material-spatial dynamics, often taking my own body as a point of reference. I combine materials with vivid cultural and art-historical associations such as beeswax, brass, copper, graphite, linen, and oak. To give an example of a foundational work: Touched i (2016) is a black-and-white photographic print depicting my hand covered with graphite powder. The photograph is float-mounted in an oak box frame, which has been burnished with graphite to a reflective sheen. This piece exemplifies the way I seek to build relationships between images, objects, materials, technical applications, and means of display. 
I also make limited-edition print publications and recently published my third book, Realia (2022). Check out the texts/PDF page of my website for more extensive writing on my practice by myself and others.

James William Murray (b. 1988) is an artist based in the coastal city of Brighton England. In 2021 he had solo exhibitions at Brighton Centre for Contemporary Arts and Stephane Simoens Contemporary Fine Art, Belgium. Murray was an artist in residence at Rule Gallery, Marfa Texas in 2022 and Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne UK in 2019. He was a recipient of an Arts Council England project grant in 2021 and the Sussex Open award in 2018. Murray received an MA in photography from the University of Brighton in 2015. His work is held in public collections including the University of Brighton, The Hellenic Centre for Photography, and The British Library as well as private collections throughout the UK, USA and Europe.

Selected Exhibitions & Projects


Turn Your Face Towards My Face (solo) Stephane Simoens Contemporary Fine Art, Knokke BE

Material Curing (group) with Katrin Hanusch, Celeste McEvoy, Ieva Raudsepa and Tilo & Toni, Thames-Side Studios Gallery, London UK

James William Murray: Realia (solo)  Brighton Centre for Contemporary Arts, Brighton UK

Too Young To Fruit (group) with Dominic Beattie, Patrick Brandon, Andy Child, Jake Clark, Ben Cohen, Bobby Dowler, Tim Ellis, Doris Erbacher, Slaven Gabric, Adam Gillam, Dave Hanger, Norman Hyams, Alex Jones, Max Mason, Alex Macdonald, James William Murray, Elliot Nehra, Laurence Noga, Jack O’Neil, Benedict Owen, Nigel Palmer, Frances Richardson, Anne Ryan, Amy Stephens, Hanna ten Doornkaat, Ross Taylor, Adam Tunnicliffe, Wevet Projects, Brighton UK

Object Q / Pursuit of Happiness (two-person) with Garth Gratrix, Gallery DODO Brighton UK

Many Splendored Things (two-person) Garth Gratrix, Abingdon Studios Blackpool UK

New Ideal (group) with Paul Anagnostopoulos, MK Baily, Damon Davis, Matthew Harris, Delphine Hennelly, Mildred Howard, Rule Gallery Denver CO USA 


Between The Lines (group) with Richard Artschwager, Raoul de Keyser, Ross Hansen, Robert Mangold, Richard Serra, Dan Van Severen, Masaaki Yamada, Stephane Simoens Contemporary Fine Art, Knokke BE

When Net Becomes Form, (virtual group) artetcetcetc

Great Small Works (group) with Philip Akkerman, Anonymous, Laurenz Berges, Udona Boerema, Michael Canning, Walter Dahn, Laurent Da Sylva, Raoul De Keyser, Matilde Duus, Ivan Liovik Ebel, Damien Flood, Albrecht Fuchs, Tobias Hantmann, Niek Hendrix, Diango Hernandez, Klara Hosnedlova, Brad Kahlhammer, Natasja Mabesoone, Jesper Skov Madsen, Sally Mann, Lars Morell, David Murphy, James William Murray, Frank Nitsche, Johan Nobell, Jan Schoonhoven, Maximilian Schubert, Robin Seir, Berend Strik, Kei Takemura, Luc Vandervelde, Keke Vilabelda, Masaaki Yamada, Stephane Simoens Contemporary Fine Art, Knokke BE


Grounded (group) with Adam Fowler, M Benjamin Herndon, Jill O’Bryan, Rule Gallery, Denver CO USA

Salon (group) with Sean Birnie, Joshua Legallienne, Jess Dadds, Ridder Levitt, Rachel Maloney, Simon Sandys, Matt Page, Kirsty Thomas, Thomas Truscott, John Williams, curated by Haley Moyse-Fenning University of Brighton UK 

On The Stretcher (group) with Jesper Skov Madsen, Maximilian Schubert, Luc Vandevelde, Stephane Simoens Contemporary Fine Art, Knokke BE


Lingering (two-person) with Philip Van Isacker, Stephane Simoens Contemporary Fine Art, Knokke BE

ideal-i (two-person) with Alexander Glass, Niagara Falls Projects, Brighton UK

Sussex Open 18, (group) Towner Gallery, Eastbourne UK

Marks Make Meaning: Drawing Across Disciplines (group) with Duncan Bullen, Antony Gormley, Irvin Pascal, Rachel Whiteread, Mark Wright, University of Brighton UK


Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing (solo) Stephane Simoens Contemporary Fine Art, Knokke BE

Desire Works (solo) Project 78, St Leonard’s by Sea UK

Old 16 / New 17 (group) with Ross Hansen, Berend Strik, Laurent Da Sylva, Stephane Simoens Contemporary Fine Art, Knokke BE


Screened, (group) with Sean Birnie, Alberto Sinigaglia, Ardesia Projects, Brighton Photo Fringe UK

Sussex Open, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne, UK 

NYC Art Book Fair (solo) Daily Life Storage MoMA PS1. New York, USA

Athens Photo Festival Benaki Museum (Pireos Annexe), Athens GR 


Buzzed, (group) Phillips Auctioneers, London UK 

After Desire (MA graduate show) University of Brighton UK


London Art Fair, Axis project stand, Business Design Centre, London UK

200 Faces (group) Kingston House, Birmingham & Quayside Tower, Swindon UK

Bread & Roses (group) Alex Hardy, Rebecca Harris, Paul R Jones, Mark McGowan, aka The Artist Taxi Driver, Alex Pearl, Kate Pickering, Abbi Torrance, Tumim & Prendergast, Hanae Utamura, Rich White, curated by Julie McCalden, Motorcade Flashparade, Bristol UK

Miles Km (group) Bussey Building, London UK

Basement, (group) The Regency Town House, Hove UK 


Artist Books 

Realia, 2022, Studio James William Murray, edition of 30, with text by Tom Laver and James William Murray

Also Men, 2021, Studio James William Murray, edition of 1000, with texts by Paul Bench and George Lynch

The Drawing Stone, 2020, Studio James William Murray, edition of 150, with text by Bryony Bodimeade

Beheld, 2015, Studio James William Murray, edition of 150, with text by Sean Birnie


Curated/Facilitated Projects


The Streets Where Foxes Hide (Reinis Lismanis), off-site Niagara Falls Projects exhibition at Brighton Centre For Contemporary Art UK


Evil Rises, Niagara Falls, (Ashley Beachey, Sean Birnie, Richard Jed Butler, Bob Visser) Niagara Falls Projects Brighton UK

New Alchemy (Jure Kastelic), Niagara Falls Projects Brighton UK

Not the Dead Spit, (Sophie Barber & Georgia Hayes) Niagara Falls Projects Brighton UK


Celestial Body, Spiritual Earth (Joseph Long), Niagara Falls Projects Brighton UK

Is this wet p*$$¥ remix no get enemy, nothing like this love that I’m feeling (Irvin Pascal) Niagara Falls Projects Brighton UK


E2 - E4 (Jacob Clayton), Niagara Falls Projects Brighton UK

She, (Melissa Campbell), Niagara Falls Projects Brighton UK


Talks & Teaching

2021 - 2022
Lecturer, University of Brighton UK

Interpretive reading of ‘Specific Objects’ by Donald Judd, with Reinis Lismanis, Instagram live

Interpretive reading of ‘Some Notes on The Phenomenology of making’ by Robert Morris, Instagram live


Writing as artistic expression workshop, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne UK

Abstract drawing workshop, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne UK

Visiting lecturer, Hastings University Centre UK


Visiting lecturer, Hastings University Centre UK


Miniclick Photo Talks, Brighton UK


Alternative Perspectives artist talk, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne UK

2015 - 2016

Coordinator of Unit 8 peer crit sessions, Brighton UK



University of Brighton UK

The British Library UK

Hellenic Centre for Photography GR

SPBH collection UK

Private collections throughout UK, USA, Europe 


Awards / Residencies


Artist in Residence, Rule Gallery, Marfa Texas USA


University of Brighton, doctoral college research grant 

Arts Council England National Lottery project grant


Artist in Residence, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne UK


Sussex Open 18 Commission, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne UK


Eye Witness Award, The independent 

Membership of Professional bodies

Axis web

Artists’ Collecting Society (A.C.A)
British Art Network