Ella Murphy


This project examines feelings of entrapment felt during transitional phases or caused by depression or anxiety, about which I aim to create a conversation. To this end, I have created self-portraits that represent feelings and emotions I once had.

Set in a conservation area by a river, they replicate the type of environment that was my happy place during my worst times. It’s not the same place but it instils the feeling of calm I once felt.The transition from late teens to early twenties often forces us to evaluate personal goals and our existence.

Struggling with anxiety and depression during my teen years I wondered, am I ungrateful? Is it normal for me to feel trapped in my life? Why do I feel this way when I have a loving family, a safe home and good friends?

After realising that my feelings were caused by an illness, I found more clarity. I realised I needed to find a way to be happy and fulfilled. At seventeen I decided to go to university abroad. A move to Toronto in 2018 was the best decision I have ever made. It gave me a chance to figure out who I am.

Ella Murphy is an Irish photographer living in Toronto. She works with lens-based media, a mix of digital and analogue. Architecture, portraiture and commercial photography are the three areas of her focus. A connection with her subject is an important aspect to her work, whether it be portraits, products or structures. Architects have always influenced her work, especially the work of Zaha Hadid and Fumihiko Maki.