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Biography

MURPHY, Pat (director-producer-scriptwriter) (1951-)

Born in Dublin, Pat Murphy studied at the Belfast College of Art and Design before winning a scholarship to spend a year at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She moved to London after this, taking a BA in Fine Art at Hornsey College of Art and Design and an MA in Film and Television at the Royal College of Art, London. She made her first short film, RITUALS OF MEMORY in 1977, establishing with this an interest in exploring women’s histories and alternative models of representation. Her first feature, MAEVE, was co-directed with John Davies but contains many of the themes that recur throughout her filmmaking practice. This was followed by ANNE DEVLIN, a film based on the real life ‘housekeeper’ who fronted for Robert Emmet’s failed rebellion of 1803 and was imprisoned with her family as a consequence. A long gap followed this film during which time Murphy worked in fine art practice and curatorship with the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and other international galleries and museums. In 1992, she was commissioned to make a film installation for the Strokestown Famine Museum. In 1999, she made her third feature film, NORA, a work loosely based on Brenda Maddox’s biography of Nora Barnacle. A more accessible work than her earlier avant-garde films, NORA was notable for its combination of a rich visual aesthetic and its feminist approach to the depiction of women on screen. Since then, Murphy has made a short film, WHAT MIRO SAW (2002). She is a member of Aosdána, the Arts Council body established to honour artists of special merit, and teaches film at Queens University Belfast.

Contact: irishfilm@tcd.ie | Last updated: Nov 27 2006.