Tony Murray

the joy of ambiguity
© Tony Murray

View all essays

Notes on Projects


The Promised Land explores the ambiguity when the seemingly banal and the everyday is transformed into an abstraction by the intervention of the camera. This project documents the idealised landscapes and lifestyles that were created to sell property during the boom years of the Celtic Tiger era. The images appeared on hoardings that were erected to lure potential house buyers with the promise of a life of happiness and fulfilment. In the context of the property crash these images are now a sinister and unsettling snapshot of that period. The selected images create an ambiguous and sometimes wry juxtaposition between the ‘real’ and the ‘imagined.’

The camera always lies — it is not about truth or fact but “story.”


This project explores how we remember and commemorate our dead. Since prehistory, we have marked and decorated the graves of our dead. The rituals of burial and tending grave bring solace and comfort to those left behind. Traditionally, religious icons, symbols of nature or spirituality, have marked graves and burial sites. However, in an ever-increasing secular world, graves are now as likely to be decorated and marked by references to sport, modes of transport and popular celebrities. The last resting place is a reflection of the values of both that person and society in general. In Loving Memory is a collection of images of contemporary cemeteries around Ireland.


STREET THEATRE Exploring ‘the street’ as theatre or canvas has a long tradition in both painting and photography. These images are a celebration of the joy of looking. The excitement of capturing that visual moment – the juxtaposition of planes, the look, the dance or the stillness all combine to make the street an endless possibility for image making.