Weekend Q&A: Grace McMurray of the Turner Prize-winning Array Collective

Grace McMurray (37) is a member of the Turner Prize-winning Array Collective and specialises in knitted and textile work

Jane Hardy


Grace McMurray

How do you unwind at the weekend?

I read, I see some greenery, I knit, mend, have a glass of wine and catch up on RuPaul's Drag Race.

What do you recall most about weekends growing up?

Watching Saturday night TV like The Generation Game, Strictly Come Dancing, Blind Date and The Other Half. Cilla Black and Dale Winton were absolute icons. My family used to walk to my Granny's house near the Bronte Church, we ate lots of buns, the telly was loud and there were patterns everywhere. It was very sensory, I can still remember everything.

Is there a must-listen radio programme or podcast at weekends?

If I want nostalgia, I listen to the Sentimental Garbage podcast. If I want to be challenged, I listen to I Weigh with Jameela Jamil or Say Your Mind by Kelechi Okafor. Talk Art helps you learn more about contemporary artists and I met presenter, actor Russell Tovey, at the Turner Prize opening which he helped judge.

Is there a must-watch TV programme or is it Netflix?

Currently it's Love is Blind, reality TV at its finest. We all try to dissect the participants' behaviour and predict what they'll do. Channel 4's recent documentaries are a must-watch, especially Paula and George Michael: Outed. My Mum loves The Piano show.

Is Sunday still special?

I normally work in Belfast Waterstones on a Sunday and sometimes have Zoom meetings in the evening with my art collective Array, as it may be the only time we're all free. Being in a collective with 10 other people means you have to schedule three-hour meetings in when you can, as there are constant deadlines and things to be discussed. Sundays are a slower pace and I try and get to the studio or visit family if I can. Array Collective's Turner show The Druthaib's Ball is in the Ulster Museum so I will go visit it with friends. Even though I helped make it, I still discover objects I didn't notice.


The Array Collective - Grace McMurray, Laura O'Connor, Sighle Bhreathnach-Cashell, Sinead Bhreathnach-Cashell, Mitch Conlon, Alessia Cargnelli, Jane Butler, Clodagh Lavelle, Stephen Millar, Thomas Wells and Emma Campbell - won the Turner Prize 2021, the leading international award for contemporary art


Have you a favourite eatery or is it a takeaway?

Jumon is my favourite restaurant in Belfast, Flout! Pizza is great and Tetto has become a new regular.

How do you feel on Sunday evening about Monday morning?

I try and visualise the week ahead, and think about what work I am going to make for my solo show at the Katie Lindsay Gallery in Killyleagh in July, and the Black Box in Belfast in September. Most of my work is labour intensive knitting or textiles so I have to start designing and making months in advance. I go to art openings and literary events during the week so Monday morning is a lie in and I ease myself into the week ahead.

The Array Collective's Turner Prize winning The Druthaib's Ball is at the Ulster Museum until September 3