For those of you who were at Brainchild 2015, it’s unlikely you’ve forgotten about Josh Murr’s slide. It was so loved that your bums quite literally rubbed the paint off it. Well, we are ecstatic to have the multi-talented craftsman, coder and rock climber back on our team this year. With wood and functionality at the heart of everything he creates, even his largest works are beautiful feats of engineering, measured to the millimetre and crafted with care.
Here’s an insight into the mind of a man who is really and truly the David to arts’ Goliath…
How did you go from studying illustration London College of Communication to working as a carpenter?
I got into woodwork at LCC because the workshop was pretty accessible and one of the more quiet workshops there. To try and carry this on after uni I started buying tools and making things at home, for myself and others. As I started getting better I started getting offered work and now it’s what I do! I’ve been building a new office for Nobrow Press and hope to move on to the next project soon. It’s not always creative but I enjoy it and I’m developing skills where I want to.
I was fortunate to meet people who have been willing to take me on knowing I’m not that experienced.
What is the biggest thing you’ve built?
Everything I plan starts off as something massive! I’m just waiting for the right opportunity to build something big big.
I’ve been on climbing wall builds, but these are a joint effort. So far the biggest thing I’ve built by myself would be the slide for Brainchild in 2015.
What’s the weirdest project you’ve done?
Ha! The weirdest is probably the Morse Code Storytelling Machine I made a few years ago which I’m still quite fond of. It’s rare you get the time to make things like this:
What have you built for Brainchild and how did it go down?
So I did the Be Careful slide and the Shack bar in 2015, and a palm tree for the 2016 launch party and I’ve made a satellite dish for the festival this year. I thought the slide was gonna be a death trap but people seemed to really like it. I’ll soon find out if we can resurrect it for 2016. Hopefully no splinters this year.
Who do you respect and admire in your field?
There are a few people I quite often refer back to: Tom Sachs, Martino Gamper, Olafur Eliasson, Assemble Studio, Practice Architecture, Conrad Shawcross and Anton Alvarez. I just love their aesthetics.
What gems did you discover at last years festival?
I loved Kinsphere‘s Vis å Vis. It’s right up my street and they put it together really efficiently (which is definitely something I’m into). But Brainchild is full of gems, everything was great.