Benjamin Murphy Interview at his solo exhibition in London

It’s a roasting hot day in the city of London and the team at the Delphian Gallery have just finished the hang of Benjamin Murphy’s latest exhibition, ‘Lavish Entropy’.

As we now expect from work by Murphy, it’s another black and white spectacular, using the electrical tape which has become his trademark. This time however extra dimensions have been added such as the use of layered glass to create a 3D effect. It means that within many of the pieces there is a richness of detail not seen in previous outings.

A picture of artist Benjamin Murphy
Benjamin Murphy outside the gallery at 67 York Street

Art Inspired by a Play

“The show was a bit of an afterthought really” says Ben when I ask him where the idea for the exhibition came from. His main focus over the past year has actually been the writing of a play. A page of which is actually showcased in the gallery. Incorporating single lines from other already existent published works of classic literature, Murphy has blended them altogether to create a whole new piece. He describes it as a new linear narrative, albeit one that is meant to be read as opposed to performed.

Much of the art work produced seems to have been inspired by this process. He tells me that the images on the walls are more representative of the works that he has been reading. Not necessarily inspired by one particular piece of literature but instead all being a kind of  artistic outlet for what he had been reading.

Benjamin Murphy Video Interview

Called ‘Flowering Desolation‘, Murphy tells me that the story which emerged in the play is in some way inspired by the works of Marcel Proust one of his favourite writers. The exhibition opening date of 10 July is also a nod in Proust’s direction, it was the writers birthday! Proust’s influence has more than a passing reference in the show with a number of the pieces making reference to the author.

“The plan was to take some time off from doing the tape drawings to do that” he tells me. “But then, just out of compulsion… because I can’t help it I just ended up just doing all the drawings anyway.” Only at the end of the process did he realise that the works created during the time spent writing the play actually formed their own series. Themselves they became part of the creative process he was undertaking.

Benjamin Murphy at the opening of Lavish Entropy his London solo exhibition
Benjamin Murphy outside the gallery with the title of the show ‘Lavish Entropy’ written in electrical tape


The title of the show ‘Lavish Entropy’ is also reflective of Murphy’s love of words. A play on the title of his previous show ‘Gilded Chaos‘ which showcased at the Beers London Gallery. Lavish being something which you could use as a descriptor for something Gilded. ‘Entropy’ being a word which means ‘lack of order’, again something which could easily descend into chaos.

You can see the evolution in Murphy’s work. He reminisces about the time he first used electrical tape as a medium. That was in 2012 with a nine story high mural on the side of a multi-storey car park in Shoreditch. The piece, for anti-slavery international, garnered a huge amount of attention. Since then he’s experimented with a number of street pieces and has had a number of exhibitions, many of which we’ve featured here on Inspiring City.

A sketch from the show

Tape Art

“It was never an intentional thing” says Ben when I ask about where the tape drawing in particular came from. The result of a night out in his native Yorkshire, “it wasn’t even my idea” he says. Explaining how he and a friend suddenly decided that it would be a good idea to start making art with electrical tape on the wall. He didn’t think any more of it prior to moving to London. It was only when he decided to suddenly make something out of tape for an exhibition that things changed.

“From that people just kind of expected if from me” he tells me. “So I started to try and push it as a medium and I just fell in love with it.”

‘Lavish Entropy’ the solo exhibition from Benjamin Murphy is showing at the 67 York Street Gallery and is curated by the Delphian Gallery. It runs from 10-15 July 2018. The play which inspired the exhibition ‘Flowering Desolation’ can be downloaded for free here.

Lavish Entropy Gallery

Benjamin Murphy, Nick Thompson and Wingshan Smith
The Delphian Gallery team of Benjamin Murphy, Nick Thompson and Wingshan Smith outside the 67 York Street Gallery in London
Lavish Entropy written in tape on the window
Layered tape art on glass
Tape portrait
Tape portrait on glass
Decorative feature in the gallery

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