Ambrose Murray is a self-taught painter and seamstress, whose exquisitely crafted textile works explore the human condition. The artist’s experience in the liberation movement and social justice spaces across the South informs her praxis as a Black, queer, southern artist who strives to create work that heals, transforms and makes tangible impact for Black and Indigenous people. Murray’s large-scale works on fabric employ archival photographs of Black women from the early 1900s as source images, many of which circulated the globe as postcards some hundred years ago—now reconfigured to offer a space for ancestral healing, releasing the figures of their ties to a colonial past. The artist creates deeply personal pieces that meld her research in ancestral connections with spirituality and intuition.
Murray’s works often leverage the kantha quilt — a hand-stitched quilt composed of recycled sari cloth from India, highlighting the relationship between women's work across global economies impacted by colonialism and slavery. Using this type of quilt the artist speaks to the threads that connect women's labor, bodies and cultural power across Africa, India and the Atlantic World; the quilts enliven each piece, strengthening women’s connections across space and time.
“I feel connected to a long lineage of women’s work when I am sewing, and I imagine all of the artworks my great grandmothers and their mothers would’ve made if they had more space, time, and freedom.”
– Ambrose Rhapsody Murray
Ambrose Murray (b. 1996, Jacksonville, FL, US) received her BA in African American Studies from Yale College, New Haven, CT, US (2018) and studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, London, UK. The artist has recently completed a year-long residency at the Mississippi Center for Cultural Production in Utica, MS, US. Murray is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including Yale CCAM Interdisciplinary Arts Award, Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking Innovation Award, Alternate ROOTS Project Development Grant, Sankofa Cultural Alchemist Award, Gordon Grand and Cohen Public Service Fellowship.
Murray’s works have been featured in solo shows Within Listening Distance of the Sea… at Fridman Gallery, New York, NY, US; They Looked at Us Like Violet at N’Namdi Contemporary, Miami, FL, US, as well as at a number of group exhibitions, including Fetiche, Morán Morán, Los Angeles, CA, US; Truth About Me, ArtLeadHER Foundation, New York, NY, US; The Armory Show, The Javits Center, New York, NY, US; Shattered Glass, Jeffrey Deitch Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, US; A stranger’s soul is a deep well, Fridman Gallery, New York, NY, US, among others. Ambrose Murray lives and works in Miami, FL, US.