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Currier Museum transformed with immersive drawing installation inspired by Manchester
Ethan Murrow, Manipulating Data, 2018, graphite on paper, 48 x 48 inches, courtesy of the artist and Winston Wächter Fine Art. Photo: Stewart Clements.

MANCHESTER, NH.- Visitors at the Currier Museum of Art will now have the unique opportunity to become immersed in a massive installation of hand-drawn work. Titled Hauling, this multifaceted installation, created specifically for the Currier Museum, is a series of drawings in different scales and materials that explore universal themes of work, handcraft, and collaboration. Artist Ethan Murrow will transform one of the Currier Museum of Art’s largest galleries into an immersive environment of panoramic, hand-drawn murals that will be made using black fine-tipped Sharpie pens. The work will be his most ambitious wall drawing to date and will run along the gallery walls for more than 100 feet. The exhibition will also include two large-scale graphite drawings on paper as well as a 52-foot long scroll drawing animated by a mechanical sculpture.

The installation is inspired by the history of industry and innovation in the Manchester region as well as the people who have worked in its industries. Murrow’s wall drawing will depict groups of figures working together to push, pull, and haul large accumulations of objects symbolic of human labor – ranging from Native American and pre-industrial hand tools to the high-tech apparatuses of the modern era. The works on paper each depict scenes relating to elements of Manchester’s famed industrial history of the 19th and early 20th century, particularly women and child laborers at the Amoskeag Mills. The scroll drawing features imagery of rope, which Murrow views as one of the most elemental hand tools, and which also dovetails with Manchester area histories such as Native American fishing, farming, and factories. In addition, it relates to more symbolic and universal ideas of connectivity, timelines, migration, and, of course, hauling.

This installation is the result of more than two years of research, preparation, and drawing, made possible with the assistance of many collaborators. For example, Murrow worked with local amateur actors on a photo shoot during which the performers acted out various scenes of pushing, pulling, and hauling large-scale objects, working with theatrical props constructed by the artist. These images became source material for his drawings. The creation of the wall mural will take place over three weeks, and Murrow will be assisted by six area artists.

The installation of Murrow’s wall drawing will be on view to the public beginning Sunday, August 26; an adjacent interpretative space will provide additional details about the installation. Content will include information on the artist’s research process, sketches, and interviews with key project participants, including the artist, museum staff and volunteers, and the artist’s many community collaborators.

The public is invited to a special ‘meet and greet’ with Murrow at Currier After Hours: Celebration of Ethan Murrow: Hauling on September 6 at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm. The event will also include live music and tours. Currier After Hours is free with general museum admission.

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