Murray Siple (b. 1970 Canada) begin drawing as early as age two. All art materials inspired him. As a teen the analog technology of the 70’s and 80’s opened new worlds. He’d record conversations on cassette recorders, make pause VCR tapes off the TV and play them at parties, and take polaroids and display them in appropriated gallery spaces in his hometown of Kamloops. He was accepted into Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 1990 and began to immediately experiment with mixing painting with technology (speakers behind paintings, projections into ice). With a need for art school money, Murray’s skills with cameras led him to becoming a pioneer in producing, directing, filming, and editing snowboard and skateboard videos. Those videos went from covering local riders to traveling the world filming top professionals. At the beginning of a bright career, Murray was involved in a high speed motor vehicle accident combined with an emergency room mistake that left him a quadriplegic. In rehabilitation Murray immediately began drawing again. His drawing led him to design, a way to express how he needed things adapted for him from ramps to bathrooms to clothing. He built an adapted house in North Vancouver that gained international press for combining modern design with barrier free access. Living there led him to writing and directing “Carts of Darkness”, a National Film Board of Canada production, a film on homeless people who ride shopping carts downhill to collect bottles. During a break from filmmaking Murray moved to Mexico and began painting murals which led to painting on expired election signs for canvasses. Now back in North Vancouver Murray paints in his converted garage studio and continues to paint themes that evoke fears of what may lurk behind the darkness. Murray admits no other medium has felt as satisfying as painting, where he can compose what he dreams, what scares him, and what threatens our planet.
“I want people to understand by looking deeper into my paintings, that they were created not only by a person with a disability but a person with a disability living as an outsider. I push my limits physically to find environments that inspire my image making. The is my secret to flipping the expectations imposed on a person with a disability and living a life possibly more enriched than able bodied people.”
Murray Siple/ WALLETMOTH