I am a photographic practice-researcher and educator, currently residing in Cambridgeshire, England. After living and studying in South Africa for seventeen years, with a break spent living and working in Germany, I returned to the UK in 1998 as a freelancer and lecturer based in London.

I was awarded my PhD from Middlesex University in 2022, for my practice-led research project, An Inert State: Tracing a Double-defiance of Death via Photographic Poiesis. At present, I am Course Leader for Photography at Buckinghamshire New University.

ACMurphy Photography was established in 1995 as a collective name for my practice, which incorporates a diverse interest in subject matter, media and research outputs, produced for publication and exhibition.

Current practice-research investigates the photograph’s relationship to the museological space and its collections, in particular, natural history specimens. Notions of death, preservation, likeness and visuality are explored via a haptic and embodied methodology, with an interest in cultural theories such as metapsychology and museology. Examples of these projects can be found via the Projects link in the menu below.


Verdant. The Art Pavilion, London, July 2022. Group exhibition.

Animal Afterlives. Museum of Zoology, Cambridge, Nov 2021 – Feb 2022. Solo exhibition.

A Space of One’s Own. David Parr House, Cambridge, UK, 2020. Online extension of 2009 exhibition.

Specere. Avenue Gallery, University of Northampton, UK, 2017. Solo exhibition.

IPE 160. Royal Photographic Society, UK, 2017. Juried group exhibition – shortlisted.

Co-Existence. Richmond, Kentucky, USA, 2017. Juried group exhibition.

Visualising the Animal. Carlisle Photography Festival, UK, 2015. Juried group exhibition.

Royal Photographic Society Biennial Exhibition. The Halequin Gallery, Watford, UK, 2012. Juried group exhibition.

2010: Changing Spaces – Empty Shop Window Project, Cambridge, UK

A Space of My Own. Museum of Cambridge, UK, 2009. Collaboration project and exhibition.

spirits. Museum of Zoology, Cambridge, UK, 2008. Solo exhibition.

CamIris 2007. Artworks, Cambridge, UK, 2007. Group exhibition.

MA Graduating Show. Norwich University College of the Arts, UK, 2007. Exhibition.

Work. Lauderdale House, London, UK, 2005. Juried group exhibition.

Fractures: Exhibit B. Mary Ward Centre, London, 2001. Solo exhibition.

Art, Science & Technology. New Greenham Arts, Newbury, UK, 2000. Juried group exhibition.

Created Space. Whiteleys, London, 1999. Juried group exhibition.

Notes From Underground. Dostoevsky Museum, St. Petersburg,1999. Juried group exhibition.

Land: Crust & Steel. NSA Gallery, Durban, South Africa, 1998. Collaboration exhibition.

Gross-Stadt. Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town, 1998. Solo exhibition.

Chameleons. Metropolitan Life Gallery, Cape Town, 1998. Solo exhibition.

13. Klein Karoo Arts Festival, South Africa, 1997. Group exhibition. 

Fractures: Exhibit A. Café Camissa, Cape Town, 1997. Solo exhibition.

Project Field Work

2019                 Powell-Cotton Museum, Birchington-on-Sea

2015-2018       Natural History Museum, London

2017                 The Field Museum, Chicago

2016-2017        London Museums: Science Museum; Blythe House; Grant Museum; Wellcome Collection

2016                  American Museum of Natural History, New York

2012-2014        Natural History Museum, Tring

2009                  Museum of Cambridge, UK

2007-2008         Cambridge University Museum of Zoology

Exhibition Curation & Artist Talks

“Taxidermy Photography as Still Life.” Visiting speaker at Middlesex University, UK. October, 2018.

Co-Existence.” Co-curated Exhibition at Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky, USA. March, 2017: www.seeingwithanimals2017.wordpress.com



Murphy, Alexandra. “The Forgotten Zoological Garden: A Photographic Study of the Heterotopic Museum Taxidermy
Display.” Paper presented at Exhibiting Animals. Curatorial Strategies and Narratives, University of Warsaw, 18-19 November, 2022.

Murphy, Alexandra. “The Seeing (and Unseen): Making Photographs of Museological Taxidermy Displays in Pursuit of an Alternative Gaze.” Paper presented at The Animal Gaze Constructed, London Metropolitan University, UK. 6-7 March, 2020.

Murphy, Alexandra. “Forever in Stasis: Dialectical Dynamics between the Photograph and the Taxidermy Specimen.” Paper presented at FORMAT19 FOREVER//NOW Photography Conference and Festival, University of Derby, UK. 15 March, 2019.

Murphy, Alexandra. “Specere and the Photograph: Co-Existing in Perpetual States of Preservation.” Paper and Exhibition presented at the Seeing with Animals conference, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, US. 22-26 March, 2017.

Murphy, Alexandra. “Presenting The Spectacular Double Act Of The Photograph And The Taxidermy Specimen.” Paper presented at the Consuming (the) Victorians, BAVS conference, Cardiff University, Wales. 31 Aug – 2 Sept, 2016.

Murphy, Alexandra. “Taxidermy and the Photograph: A Double-Act.” Paper presented at The New and the Novel in the 19th Century, NCSA conference, Lincoln, Nebraska, US. 13-16 April, 2016.

Murphy, Alexandra. “Is Photographing Taxidermy a Double-Defiance of the Death-drive?” Paper presented Visualising the Animal conference, University of Cumbria. 18-19 June 2015.

Funding, Honours and Awards


Royal Photographic Society. Funding award for research project, Specere II: Fixing the Shadows at the Natural History Museum, London. 2015-16.

The Sir Richard Stapley Trust. Postgraduate funding award for research project, The Uncanny. 2006.

Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship. Shortlisted project, Prison Islands. 2004.

Travel Photographer of the Year. Shortlisted, Single Image Category. 2003.

Robben Island Artist Residency, South Africa. 2-week residency project, The Absent Landscape. 1997.

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), South Africa. Postgraduate funding award for research project, The Photo-transformation of the Human Form. 1995.

Book Publications 


Murphy, Alexandra. “Forever in Stasis: Dialectical Dynamics between the Photograph and the Taxidermy Specimen.” In Mythologies, Identities and Territories of Photography: Forever//Now, edited by Gemma Marmalade and Philip Harris, 11-31. UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020.

Co-Existence: An Art Exhibition, edited by Julia Schlosser, 40-41, 90, 99. USA: Blurb, 2017.

Journey One: Travel Photographer of the Year, edited by Chris Coe, 123. UK: TPOTY, 2005.

The Big Issue Book of Home, edited by Eddie Ephraums, 30. UK: Hodder & Stoughton, 2000.

What’s Missing?, edited by Eddie Ephraums, 90-97. UK: Argentum, 2000.

Editorial Publications


Interview by Andrew Cattanach, “Death Becomes Her,” in The Journal 156 (2016): 816.

“Endframe Portfolio.” British Journal of Photography (2004): 43-44.

“Endframe Portfolio. British Journal of Photography (2000): 43.

Interview, “Sharing a Vision,” SA Photo (1998): 43.

Interview by Guido Duken, “Beyond the Image,” Directions (1995): 66-71.

Magazine Publications 

(selected editorial work)

“The Good Ship Robin.” British Journal of Photography, 1 January, 2004, 20-21.

“Laugh? I Feel Better Already.” Guardian G2, 25 March, 2003, 14-15.

Tours.” COLORS 49 magazine, April-May 2002, 42-43.

“Power Houses.” The Observer Magazine, 17 June 2001, 64-69.

“Viva Lass Vegas.” The Mirror, 14 Aug, 2001, 26-27.

“Animal Crackers!” 19 Magazine, July 1998, 62-63.

“Legalised Prostitution: A Licence to Thrill.” ELLE magazine, July 1998, 64-68.

“Writing Wrongs.” Sunday Life magazine, 7 December, 1997, 6-8 and cover.

“Mu’te.” SL magazine, 1995-1998 (monthly publication)

“A Pond Reflecting the Sky.” ADA magazine, 1995, 10-11.

Book Cover Illustrations


Murphy, John Gerard. All God’s Children. UK: Vanguard, 2013.

Gordimer, Nadine. Beethoven was One-sixteenth Black. UK: Bloomsbury, 2008.

Coetzee, J.M. Waiting for the Barbarians. UK: Vintage, 2004.

Jone, Russell Celyn. Surface Tension. UK: Abacus, 2001.

Stewart, Leah. Body of a Girl. UK: Piatkus, 2001.

Christie, Agatha. 4:50 from Paddington. UK: Macmillan Audio, 2001.

Hepburn, Susan. Missing. UK: Piatkus, 2001.

Examples of editorial publications can be seen on my Editorial page.

To view my doctoral research project portfolio, visit: https://acmurphyresearchproject.wordpress.com/