Born in Ottawa, Canada, Paula Murray’s interest in the relationship between the mind and the body initially drew her to study science science at the University of Ottawa. Upon discovering clay, her visceral response to the medium led her to study ceramics at Sheridan College, and The Banff Centre. Murray has lived in the Gatineau Park on the shores of Meech Lake, Quebec since opening her first studio in 1980. For extended periods of time, throughout her career, she has lived on the water with her young family, sailing between Canada and South America. Inspiration is drawn from this ongoing relationship with nature, and through her investigation into our perceptions of the nature of reality.
Elected into the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts (2006) she exhibits internationally, having been selected for prestigious competitions in Faenza, Italy (2005), World Ceramic Biennale’s, Korea (2009, 2015), Cheonju, Korea (2009), and Cluj, Romania (2013). Represented in numerous public collections including Korea, Italy, The Canadian Museum Civilization, Canada Council Art Bank, Canadian Clay and Glass Museum, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, and The Gardiner Museum. Since 2006, Murray has been commissioned by the National Arts Centre to create a work for the recipients of their NAC Governor General’s Performing Arts awards. Currently an instructor at The Ottawa School of Art, she is a frequent presenter of lectures and workshops.
“Paula Murray has….opted for a path that lies out along porcelain’s very fringes. She’s pushed the material’s tensile qualities way past their literal and figurative breaking points and in the end created work of enormous beauty, power, and meaning. It all has to do with a willingness to abandon (or at least, put aside) the aesthetic fundamentalism of a purist approach.” Gil McElroy 2007