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Marcus Harvey and a murdurous Sensation

This post is one in a series, and is connected to the art exhibition Sensations.

You can read more about it HERE.

Some may find the content disturbing and the themes mentioned may be upsetting.

In other words, you need to make up your own mind whether it’s something you would like to engage in!

I remember hearing about the Moors Murders when I was growing up in Manchester.

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley were convicted of murdering children in 1963 and 65 in the Greater Manchester area and burying them on Saddleworth Moor.

To me they represented ‘the boogie man” who hid under the bed, the evil that harmed children.

This painting, Myra by Marcus Harvey was one of the most controversial paintings exhibited, and that’s saying a lot!

What is interesting is that during the NY show it went unnoticed. This is largely due to the historical and cultural context.

It is a painting of a magnified image widely recognised in Britain, as it has been published in many newspapers in

 the decades following Hindley’s murder trial.

This black and white image is a replica of the police photograph, taken at the time of her arrest.

The painting, shocking in itself, takes on a new dimension when you look closer and discover that…

it is made up of children’s handprints.

This realization that the image of a murderer had been created by a child’s open palm print sends a shiver down your spine.

Harvey has explained his work as inspired by the obsession of the mass media as well as the inadvertent creation of iconic images by the press.

In other words, it is the press that is responsible for Myra Hindley’s notoriety.

What is interesting is that the image has also been used by other artists

Here is Kate Moss in a piece by Russel Young


About Agzy The Ripper

Sew, Rip, Repeat... and love each moment of it! Join me as I embark on a myriad of sewing and crafting shenanigans.

2 responses »

  1. I’ve always been fascinated by the Marcus Harvey piece… and wow… I’ve never seen that Kate Moss image before… that’s crazy…

  2. I know, Kate Moss seems to be connected to Young British Artists in one way or another. This picture by Russel Young is strangely disturbing.


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