Creative Week - May 2006

Three artists have tapped into Britain's obsession with the decline of neighbours and the role feckless youth have played their downfall. Vacant & Violent' draws together three artists' observations on youth culture, demographics and the vacant and violent experience within these settings. They explore the exterior and interior spaces as well as escapism, frustration and community. Roger Murrell takes photographs of the village in which he grew up, Thurston, Suffolk. His focus has been on the houses that line the small village. Almost like the lane in Desperate Housewives. These houses and bungalows appear completely empty, vacated of any human presence. Murrell likens this emptiness to the vacant memories of his childhood. There is an underlying degree of anger towards these houses; one can imagine menacing teenagers being produced in these stark surroundings, devoid of human contact and emotion. In this exhibition Murrell also produces a main photographic piece of a forest, taken panoramically and then presented as a tangled web of trees. In the once peaceful surroundings, confusion suddenly occurs. In a Blair Witch like panic, the artist uncovers fear behind a childhood wood in suburbia. Murrell is currently lecturing in London whilst continuing investigating themes of dysfunction and issues concerning existence.

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Gomma Magazine - April 2007, page 133

THROUGH GHOSTS AND SHADOWS WE SEE THE WORLD; FUTURE, PAST AND PRESENT "As an archaeologist might search through layers of earth to find hidden traits and treasures of the past, Roger Murrell creates predictive images with layers of activity and usage of the lands surface. Feeling somewhat disheartened by the brutality with which humans treat the land, which he feels is a result of our ongoing preoccupation with supremacy, Murrell endeavours to depict the contexts in which land exists and how it reflects who we are.”

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AG Photography Journal - Autumn 2008 - Issue 53 - page 16

Henry David Thoreau wrote Walden in 1854 in which sought to examine society through self-imposed isolation, self-sufficiency and an examination of nature. In his work Roger Murrell enquires how we spend our time away from the city nowadays through similar means. Local parks and other offset sites from the city conjure Romantic notions, in addition to his use of technology from a bygone age revealing passing time through long exposure and a relationship to Thoreau's time; Murrell uses a pinhole camera to allow the viewer to see here and there, subtly revealing how society spends time through the minutiae of everyday life.