Murray Johnston

Media: Fiber

Birmingham, AL

Mountains and sky, rocks, wood and water mingle to create an intriguing, inspirational resource. We see and hear and taste the land that surrounds us. To pull out the abstracted memories and piece them into rhythms that evoke a response is my primary goal. Colors and natural images are a universal language and the conversations I have with these works are a constant, exhilarating challenge. Currently – I explore new dimensions and challenges of quilt and fiber construction in my own studio in Alabama. Using primarily commercial cotton fabrics, along with some hand painted fabrics, as well as some handwriting on fabric - I create my quilts directly on a work wall. Beginning with an idea /memory, it then grows and changes as I work to become the unique expression of the original memory. The surface design is a combination of fabric collage and machine piecing. The whole image is enhanced with free form thread drawing, outlining and filling in the environmental shapes. I create medium to large quilts that float on the wall of a home or public space. I also do smaller work that is framed in a small box or reveal frame and works equally as well on a table or shelf as the wall.

My work has been in shows across the country in the last 20 odd years – including: “American Craft Council/Southeast Regional Show Spotlight 1993;1996; 2002 (at which I won the Charles Counts Award for Excellence in Fiber) and 2003; I was honored to be included in “A Textured Language: Honoring 20 years of FIBERARTS Magazine�, in Asheville, NC. In my home state of Alabama I have been featured in such exhibits as “Celebrating Alabama Women Artists�, YWCA Gallery, Birmingham, AL and “A Mark in Time: Masterworks of Contemporary Alabama Craft�, which toured the state. I was juried into the Southern Highland Craft Guild in Asheville, NC in 1988 . My work is in the corporate and public collections of: Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC., Birmingham Museum of Art,Xerox Corporation, AmSouth Bank, Alabama Power, Royal Cup Coffee, Indian Springs School and St.Luke’s Episcopal Church, Birmingham, AL; Wesleyan Christian Academy, Atlanta, GA.; The Hotel Pattee, Perry, Iowa; as well as many private collections.

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