The Artist Wendy McMurdo’s work could be described as portraiture. Her single images use multiple exposures within one frame, to create a narrative in the same way that traditional realist painting or collage does. She uses photography to respond to action. Her early training as a painter is expressed in the way that she carefully composes her digital image, often using theatrical lighting to evoke a sense of mystery and stillness. The subjects of her work often appear alone and absorbed in their activities, as if unaware of the viewer.
From her home in Edinburgh, which is also her studio, Wendy begins a piece of work with lots of research and telephone calls to arrange meetings with the groups or individuals to be photographed. After she has documented the individuals and specific items particular to the piece of work or commission, she has digital drum scans prepared. The manipulation process to create a story from individual pictures can then begin. She describes creating layers on the computer as being similar to creating a painting. After the work has been printed, it goes to exhibition and eventually publication.
Wendy makes a living as an artist in a variety of ways: commissioned work, such as The Roslin Institute Project, sales to private dealers through Andrew Mummery Gallery in London and sales to public galleries, eg The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. She also teaches at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee.
Wendy undertakes a project with Bruntsfield Primary School in Edinburgh. They visit The National Museum of Scotland for inspiration and ideas. The children are asked to create artwork about a dream scene. They photograph and sketch various exhibits to be included in their pictures. The children decide what scenes are in their dream and consider items to be included, eg a large bear, other people, a telephone. They are encouraged to think about why they have selected certain things, how different exhibits make them feel and what mood they are trying to convey through their work.