Over the last month, Oliver Murdock, an artist originally from Halifax now based in the South, has been raising money for Andy’s Man Club through one of his pieces. Mental Health has always had an impact on Oliver’s life, both directly and indirectly with close family members and also friends having been affected by Mental Health issues and suicide. We spoke to Oliver about how this ties in with his artistry and also his wider life.
AMC: How long have you had a passion for art and where do you think this stemmed from?
OM: I’ve been into art for as long as I can remember or at least from a very early age. My Grandfather was actually a professional photographer and artist, what started as a way of connecting with my Granddad soon spiralled into a passion. My Granddad was my inspiration and I always aspired to be like him. Art and photography were a massive part of our connection, I remember being in Year 1 and having my Granddad talk me through the intricacies of an old camera, and then aged 12 or 13 revisiting that conversation and realising just how much of an influence it had. I soon found myself going from being a child drawing cartoons of The Simpsons to being a teenager developing an interest in the works of Wassily Kandinsky.
AMC: Has art ever helped you deal with your Mental Health?
OM: I’d say it goes both ways. Whilst getting my feelings down in a piece is ultimately helpful and cathartic, my Mental Health probably supports my art more than anything. I’m a strong believer in only creating pieces and creating art when I feel passionate. It can feel difficult to find the motivation to do anything when you feel like you’re in a rut but I find if I can manage to push through that and create something when I’m in that mindset I create some of my best works. I’m a firm believer that every piece you create should feel like a piece of yourself and every piece is delicate.
AMC: Do you think that art could be an effective coping mechanism for more people?
OM: Definitely yes, but it’s more a case of how mentally stimulating it is. Art isn’t the way for everyone to heal but it does stimulate the mind. In all fairness, the actual process of creating the art can be more therapeutic than the final product you create. Art is unique as a form of visual communication as it actually works with you, the meaning or motivation behind a piece can be deeply personal to you and only understood by you.
Oliver’s piece for Andy’s Man Club is inspired by intrusive thoughts, entitled “Approximately 3500 words” the piece has been formed by the layering of words from intrusive thoughts and obsessive thinking, accumulated over 5 separate sessions. All proceeds of the piece are being donated to Andy’s Man Club. You can order a signed, dated and numbered print of the piece for £10. Email email@example.com or follow @_olivermurdock on Instagram and drop Oliver a message for details!