Creative Living

Conor Murgatroyd


Bradford-born London-based painter Conor Murgatroyd is known for his surrealist paintings with underlying fun tones that often run parallell to every day British life. We went down to his latest exhibition 'Through The Looking Glass' at Peckham's Copeland Gallery, and caught a ride to his Bermondsey studio. We caught up with Conor about making a living from art, being your authentic self, style inspiration from mob bosses, and more.

GOODHOOD: For those who don’t know, who are you and what do you do?

CONOR MURGATROYD: My name Conor Murgatroyd and I am a full time practicing painter working and living in London.

GH: How did you first get into painting?

CM: I studied at Leeds college of art and focused on painting in my second year, but the fascination goes back to early childhood.

GH: …and how did it develop into a career?

CM: It’s was pretty difficult for it to develop into a career. But I was lucky enough after having a break from completing my studying at Chelsea College of Art to successfully make a living from selling my work.

GH: Can you talk us through your latest exhibit ‘Through The Looking Glass’?

CM: The exhibition Through The Looking Glass focuses on 10 large scale shopfront paintings and 5 still life’s to accompany them. The work is a fly on the wall of the everyday society that I see through my eyes.

GH: South London is home for you. What’s the best thing about it?

CM: I don’t really think there is one thing but lots.

GH: Any South London spots you can put us on?

CM: My favourite place at the moment is Di Lieto bakery in Oval.

GH: What’s your favourite artwork by somebody else in your collection?

CM: I have a painting by Igor Moritz that is high on that list and also a painting by painter Olly Cambridge who work is very unique and refreshing.

GH: What does a day in the life look like for you?

CM: Wake up at 5am with my son, take to nursery, go to bakery for a sandwich and a coffee then go to the studio. Pick my son up, dinner time, bed time. 

GH: What music do you play whilst working?

CM: I listen to a lot of classical at the moment - Dmitri Shostakovich Tchaikovsky.

GH: What are your biggest sources of inspiration?

CM: My son, my dad, Rene Magritte, life and a desire to leave something behind when I’m not here anymore. 

GH: Sum up 2023 in 5 words?

CM: Long, tiring, dark, stressful, not easy.

GH: You’ve got a really timeless and effortless style. The tailored suits, gold accessories, retro tracksuits. Where do you draw inspiration from with your dress sense?

CM: My style inspiration is all over the place, from John Gotti to secret police style from the '80s. I have never really followed current fashions, I think it’s important to be your authentic self, even if some people may see it and think, why?

GH: Anything exciting in the works you can share with us?

CM: I am working to my next exhibition in Hong Kong which will be amazing and I cannot wait to visit again!