Bethany Noël
Artist | Painter

About

b. 1986, HK.

Bethany Noël Murray

Artist | Painter

Bethany Noël Murray is a Boston based artist and painter. She lives in Belmont and works out of her painting studio in Somerville, accompanied by her adorable dog Sargent. After studying biochemistry at Reed College for two years, she transferred to Rhode Island School of Design and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting in 2011. When not painting, she can be found reading, hiking, cooking, and otherwise adventuring. In her other life, she manages an IT service team for Harvard University.

STATEMENT/ My work is Alice in Wonderland meets Narnia. I make trippy representations of migraines designed to both trap my viewer in the experience of migraine aura, and to give proof to an otherwise intangible neurological disease. I want the viewer to experience a vestigial imagery of the lights and color swirling around my painting and have it follow them after they have moved on, imitating the ocular aura I experience.  I also want to show beauty found in unexpected places and that ‘brains are cool’.

I expanded upon the original migraine series when I started painting about forests. Because of my migraines, I’m highly sensitive to light, sound, and smell, and I get Alice in Wonderland effects such as corridor lengthening, a flattening of space from three to two dimensions, and the sensation of being either very big or very small respective to ones environment. Our brains are powerful, amazing computers that protect us by filtering out the overwhelming amount of data we receive just by opening our eyes. For me, that data isn’t always filtered out. This can be painful, but it’s also stunningly beautiful. I lean into that  experience and paint that vast amount of data to show that the natural, chaotic world has overwhelming beauty. My hope is that others can start to see this world too.

Photography Credit: Andrea Wong @ PHOT(AW)GRAPHY ; Paul Retaino @ PaulReitano