Artist Statement
Eileen Murphy: Fibre Artist - Spruce Root Baskets
Newfoundland and Labrador has given me amazing life experiences! Waking each day alongside the Bay of Islands and the incredible beauty of the Humber Valley gives me a deep appreciation for our island lifestyle.
Our customs and traditions, handed down from generation to generation, weave a story that is unique to our province and our people. The roots of our island, our history, and indeed, our trees all come together in the art of basket making.
Weaving baskets from Newfoundland’s personal warehouse of roots, branches, and fibre is truly addictive. My inspirations continue to be the environment that surrounds me. The trees, the rocks, the soil and the sea awaken my creativity. My work is unique in that I use fibres that are exclusive to our island. While history holds the basket as one of our most important tools, today baskets may serve not just as functional items, but also as a fashionable accessory.
My vision for the Engulfed event will be guided by the natural fibres I harvest. The  capabilities of these materials will dictate the possibilities of the designs I am producing.
The prospect of bringing the traditional craft of spruce root baskets onto the stage of fashion is one that thrills me! Engulfed will see me create not only baskets, but other contemporary accessories using our province's natural fibres of spruce roots. 
Using spruce roots, I create traditional baskets in many shapes and forms.
Residing on the west coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, my interests in the arts has been lifelong. I graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and continued with my Masters degree through Mount Saint Vincent in Nova Scotia Canada. My studies in the fine arts influenced me towards creativity and experimentation. These attributes guide many of my designs. The natural environment, the culture, and the folklore of this province are my primary inspirations.
Through my research of the history and folklore of spruce root basket making in Newfoundland and Labrador, I have added to my personal knowledge of  this amazing craft. 
In 2012, I received the 'Award for the Preservation of  Traditional Craft Skills' from the Craft Council Of Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2008 I was honoured by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Work Provincial Educator Award for excellence in teaching.
Over the last 27 years, I have lead numerous workshops teaching others from Newfoundland and Labrador, and around the world, the traditional craft of spruce root basket making. 
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