Artist Research – Marcus Harvey

Here is a link to the Wikipedia page, that delves into a greater level of information surrounding the moors murders back in 1965. –


Moors Murderers Myra Hindley and Ian Brady-825896

Whilst writing up my project reflection, I was introduced to a piece of work by an artist called Marcus Harvey. The work in question was based on a woman called Myra Hindley who was know to be involved in  the murders of five children, four of whom were sexually assaulted. 

At first sight Harvey’s painting resembles a greatly magnified version of a black and white photograph printed in a newspaper. It was produced using casts of  infant’s hands to build up a mosaic of black, grey and white handprints, thus creating a reproduction of the iconic police photograph of a hard-faced Myra Hindley. 


The photograph  that Harvey decided to use within his painting, is widely recognised in Britain, having been published in British newspapers in the decades after Hindley’s conviction.

 Harvey has said, “The whole point of the painting is the photograph. That photograph. The iconic power that has come to it as a result of years of obsessive media reproduction.” The painting consciously juxtaposes, as Jennifer Friedlander describes it, the tiny handprints of an “innocent child” and the “depraved world of adults”. 

Here is a link to the Wikipedia website page explaining Marcus Harvey’s painting of Myra Hindley  –

Marcus-Harvey-Myra 1

The media saturation and public opinion over Myra Hindley lead to a revolted against the Academy and the painting during its exhibition. various groups, including Mothers Against Murder And Aggression, accompanied by one of the victim’s mother,  protested outside Burlington House of the Royal Academy for the work to be removed. The painting was condemned in the press, and caused resignations within the Royal Academy itself. During this process the painting was removed, restored and re-exhibited behind Perspex and guarded by security. The aim of the Sensation exhibition was to provoke and it is this provocation  that links well with my work and this is why I am mentioning Harveys work within my critical reflection. 



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Filed under 352MC -Professional Photographic Practice, 3rd Year

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