Dr Kate M Murphy exhibits under the name of Ellis Hutch. Her drawing and photography-based practice spans animation, mixed-media installation, performance and sound. Her research interests have their basis in her fascination with how people establish social relationships and transform their environments in order to create inhabitable spaces. She investigates human obsessions with exploration, and the powerful pull of the most remote places, from Antarctica to the Moon. Her practice-led PhD research Bringing Back New Worlds: A Poetics of Exploratory Space investigated the ways in which Antarctic and Lunar explorers’ accounts of their experiences in extreme environments form foundations for a poetics of exploratory space.
After investigating imaginative responses to remote and extreme environments in recent years, Kate is currently focussing her research around the place she lives, Canberra; on Ngunnawal, Ngunawal and Ngambri country. Inspired by Robert Macfarlane’s notion of the ‘wilderness nearby’ she is investigating the effects of human intervention on the Molonglo river and exploring wider themes of the impacts of ‘invasive species.’
Kate has extensive experience working for organisations such as the National Gallery of Australia, Craft ACT, Art Monthly Australia and the Canberra Institute of TAFE and since 2004 has worked as a sessional lecturer in the Foundation Studies, Sculpture and Art Theory Workshops at the ANU School of Art & Design. She currently lectures in Sculpture and Spatial Practice.