Deirdre Murphy and Scott White, Warbler Migration
Wife-husband collaborators and UPenn School of Design faculty Deirdre Murphy
and Scott White recently completed a 5 by 25 foot sculpture that was installed last month in the burgeoning Silicon Valley city of Dublin, CA.
The project, which took nearly two years to complete, combines Murphy’s fine arts expertise and climate science research with White’s unique knowledge of digital modeling and 1930’s car design. Murphy and White will be discussing the groundbreaking project at UArts’ Design Philadelphia event this October, detailing their unusual design and build process—an integration of traditional and digital fabrication techniques.
Warbler Migration was inspired by a shy species that resides in the Dublin ecosystem, and one which Murphy developed a particular fondness for in the course of her research. She has been researching the effects of global warming on bird migration for several years, using the visual data that scientists share with her to conceptualize and execute her paintings. The couple sees the opportunity to create environmentally-aware public art as an especially fulfilling one because of the potential to touch so many lives.
“Climate change has created new flight patterns; birds are staying in their summer homes longer, depleting the food supply they rely on to fuel their autumn journey,” says Murphy. “As educators, it’s important for us to share this knowledge. Embedding information about climate change in our art is a softer way to reach a broader audience.”
It was White’s task to take Murphy’s mesmerizing depictions of flocking birds and activate them into 3D space, which he did by digitally designing, then hand cutting and assembling more than 500 aluminum plates into a handcrafted hyperbolic curve.
Murphy’s and White’s presentation will take place Monday, October 9 at 6.30 at 211 South Broad Street, Terra Hall, room 511/513. Process art from Warbler Migration will be on display, along with the Industrial Design NOW exhibition prior to the presentation, from 5:00-6:30. The event is free and open to the public.
Deirdre Murphy is an adjunct professor of fine arts at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, at institutions including the Philadelphia International Airport, New Bedford Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. She is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including a Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowship and a Leeway Foundation award, and is represented by the Gross McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia; her work can be viewed at www.deirdremurphyart.com.
Scott White is a senior lecturer in animation at the University of Pennsylvania. His sculpture, animation, and designs have been shown nationally and internationally at venues including Design Philadelphia, Philly Works, Woodmere Art Museum, Gross McCleaf Gallery, and the Abington Art Center. Scott has been a visiting artist at institutions such as Philadelphia University, Moore College, and Wilmington University, Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum and is the owner and operator of Preservation Coachworks LLC.
Thank you to Christina Cook, Media Relations, Deirdre Murphy Art for the content of this post.
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