Jamie Murray’s exhibition at SERCHIA Gallery was inspired by conversations with former prisoners

The 25th exhibition to be held at Christine Serchia’s eponymous residential gallery in leafy Cotham will be Jamie Murray’s Folly, opening on September 27.

UWE alumnus Murray is a photographer and lecturer teaching at Bristol’s boomsatsuma, whose work has been exhibited at the Martin Parr Foundation, Royal Photographic Society and festivals including Format and Manifesta 12.

He is concerned with visual storytelling that confronts the realities and failings of some of the institutions underpinning our society – in this case ideas of justice and retribution, punishment, incarceration, and what follows when prisoners are freed.

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In 2017, in an attempt to better understand their experiences, Murray began to have a series of conversations with former inmates – many of whom had been in and out of multiple prisons over long periods of their lives.

Some allowed Murray to take portraits of them; for others, the resulting images are far more allegorical representations of the stories they shared.

“The images depict the gentle undercurrents and simple moments of life outside of prison,” outlines Andy Pham in the exhibition notes.

“Nature serves as a guiding force and offers moments of quiet grace and clarity. The road back to a peaceful life in society is paved with good intentions and minor victories.

“Dark, often brooding images mirror the reality that sets in once freedom is attained – a reality that Murray’s work captures.”

To coincide with the exhibition, Murray’s debut photobook, also called Folly, is out now (Photo Editions Ltd), which has met with widespread critical praise.

Jamie Murray: Folly is at SERCHIA Gallery from September 27-October 29, Monday-Friday 10am-5pm (free, by appointment).

For more information about the exhibition, the gallery and all the featured artists, visit www.serchiagallery.square.site or follow @serchiagallery.

All photos: Jamie Murray

Read more: SERCHIA Gallery presents ‘Afterword’: selected work by UWE’s 2023 MA photography graduates

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