Image shown: Skull 3 by Dr Conleth Murphy

Life Class is Dr Conleth Murphy’s first solo exhibition at the Jennings Gallery, UCC which opens on Wednesday 25 March (6pm) and runs until Wednesday 6 May 2015. The images in this exhibition are a combination of mixed art and traditional life drawings selected from his evening art classes. In the mixed art selection, Conleth merges his medical and artistic sides in a tongue-in-cheek fashion: perspex eyes through which one can visualise the retina, X-rays peeking through portraits and pop-art images of a scalp cooler designed to prevent chemotherapy-induced hair loss.

“It was important to me that these images reflected that other side of my life, to show that medicine and art are not mutually exclusive!” he says.

Conleth Murphy is originally from Roscommon and now lives in Cork. He works as a Consultant in Medical Oncology in the Bon Secours Hospital, Cork. He is also a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Education at UCC.

He has had a lifelong interest in drawing and art and is particularly drawn to portraits and life drawing. He finds great satisfaction in trying to capture the idiosyncrasies of someone’s posture or expression, to try to capture their essence if that were possible.

Having been very active in art during his school years, Conleth allowed his interest to lapse during his medical school and early postgraduate years. However, signing up to a life drawing class through Cork Institute of Technology with colleagues from the hospital three years ago rekindled his interest.

He continues to attend weekly life drawing classes and says that this is an integral part of his week – “The shift in gears from mental problem solving to focusing on creating an image of a physical presence is a very healthy one”.


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