Heather Phillipson

5 December 2013 By

Heather Phillipson works with sculpture, moving image, text and sound, creating video installations and ‘talking pictures’ (video with live voice) that weave the viewer through a collage of fragmentary and evolving ideas and narratives in multi-sensory environments. As Adrian Searle has observed, “she makes the world feel nearly new, filled with meaning. Or several meanings, too many meanings, which on a good day is what the world is like.” Also a trained musician and poet, Phillipson uses the rhythm of language and sound to accompany filmed and found footage and reflect upon the personal and the everyday with self-deprecating humour.

Phillipson’s recent exhibition at Zabludowicz Collection, through the flesh-tone scenario, the imported combi-boudoir (2013), saw the artist create a multi-layered installation that investigated the relationship between virtual and tactile spaces through cultural references as diverse as point-of-view ‘selfies’, experimental architecture, supermarkets, museums and pop videos.

In another of Phillipson’s 2013 solo exhibitions, Yes, surprising is existence in the post-vegetal cosmorama, at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, an audio-visual walking tour took participants out of the gallery and across the river into Newcastle. Cardiovascular Vernacular (as in ‘it’s time for my regular cardiovascular vernacular’) (2013) expanded upon her interest in shared space and built upon the environments created within the gallery walls.

Forthcoming exhibitions in 2014 include solo presentations at Grundy Art Gallery, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Serpentine Gallery and Bunker 259, New York with group shows at The Showroom, London and Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow. Phillipson’s work will also be shown at Tate Britain as part of Assembly: A Survey of Recent Artists’ Film and Video in Britain 2008-2013.


Heather Phillipson (born 1978 London, UK) studied at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff (2001) and went on to do a PHD at both Central St Martins College of Arts and Design (2004) and Middlesex University (2008). Forthcoming and recent solo exhibitions include: Heather Phillipson, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee (2014); Heather Phillipson, Bunker 259, New York (2014); yes, surprising is existence in the post-vegetal cosmorama – , BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK; Splashy Phasings, Random Acts, Channel 4 television; Flux Night, Atlanta, USA: immediately and for a short time balloons weapons too-tight clothing worries of all kinds, LOOP Art Fair with Rowing Projects, Barcelona. Recent group exhibitions and events include: WE OBJECT! Aid & Abet, Cambridge, 2013; Verging on the Absurd, Contemporary Arts Society, London, 2013; PLAY, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, 2013; LOCO Film Festival, BFI, London, 2013; The Space between Words: Filmic Expansions, Camden Arts Centre, London, 2013; EYE MUSIC FOR DANCING, Flat Time House, London, 2012; The Dan Cox Library for the Unfinished Concept of Thingly Time, Cubitt, London, 2012; London Open, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2012; Performing as Publishing, Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland, 2012.


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