‘I work in contemporary mediums. My studio is a mess of circuit boards, plastic resins and paint. I spend my time meditating and splicing one material with another. I love the contrast I create between colours and textures, everything is in a constant juxtaposition. I am probably considered a painter by many, but I feel more like a sculptor who works on canvas. To me the challenge is to create something with ‘feeling’ that evokes strong feelings in others. I am not always successful and at times this journey is painful, especially when you make that connection. Often, I feel naked when this happens, because someone is looking at me without my armour of bullshit. After the initial shock dies down and I no longer feel as vulnerable, I realise I have achieved something, that I am not pretending, there is a genuine connection.
Meditation and being a flawed human being is the key to my creative ‘process’. I tend to start with the structure of the painting or the concept. This is very much a conscious act, a little bit like visualising a sandcastle. As I work further into the piece, the original idea is ‘washed away’ each time, the mental image compromised. Each subsequent layer of paint, plastic or texture becomes a response to the modified vision. This is where the structure gives way to the feeling and the conscious begins to merge with the unconscious. This can become difficult to reconcile at times, there is risk involved. Sometimes paintings become over-worked when they should be abandoned. Sometimes detail is lost, sometimes I get lost.
I think contextually my work exists somewhere between abstract expressionism and the conceptual art foragers, for whom, Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Readymade’ is the life blood. The reoccurring theme would be creation born of frustration, be it with others or with oneself. I long for a certain amount of creative freedom. I am attempting to avoid the potholes of over thinking. Concentrate on breathing, clear the mind, and follow intuition, well for as long as possible in a heavy duty filter mask.
I take my tools of expression, and all the techniques I have developed and in rare cases mastered, then I leave the safety of roads firmly travelled. My journey will take me into the unknown, the black void of nothingness. When I return I have unlocked a piece of the puzzle but paid for it with a piece of myself. This is the price all creative minds pay until ultimately there is no exchange left’.
The exhibition is inspired by the beauty of the natural world and the increasing need to preserve it in the face of human activity. Paintings of fauna and flora in contemporary settings contrast with
rocky landscapes that have withstood many millenia of changing climate conditions. Other work references archaeological activity and the respect for nature and the elements held by ancient
Most of the paintings have been developed from sketches and watercolours made outdoors on travels locally and in Europe, and worked on in the studio. Originally from the south of England,
Gillian spent several years living on the north coast of Scotland before moving to Chester. (See also www.gillianrobertson.co.uk )
Gillian has exhibited widely throughout the UK including the Royal West of England Academy, Winchester Cathedral, and the Dean Clough Gallery in Halifax and has had a number of solo exhibitions in the south of England and London, including a major exhibition at the Institute of Physics in London, with an exhibition at Castle Park, Frodsham in March this year. While living in Scotland she opened a studio and gallery and has clients in Britain and Europe.
She trained at Winchester School of Art, receiving a PhD in Fine Art (Painting) in 2009. Before focusing on landscape and the natural world she spent several years painting on location with archaeologists, and also taught life drawing and painting to medical students.
The exhibition will run for 3 weeks until 1 October.
For artist Frederick Phillips, inspiration is found in the places he has lived, in the memories of his travels – or deep within the realms of his inner world…
Bringing together the outer world with his inner vision, in his art Frederick takes us to places we think we may have visited ourselves – or was it really just a dream? A compendium of travel-inspired oil paintings, colour drawings and limited edition prints that blend reality with the mind’s eye of this internationally-collected artist will be on exhibition at Chester Art Centre
(132 Northgate street, Chester, CH12HT, 01244313700) from September 15th to October 6th 2017. An Open Evening with artist Frederick Phillips will be held on Friday September 15th from 6.30pm to 9pm. Refreshments will be served as you meet the artist and view his unique artworks. And the artist will be talking about how his travels and the places he has lived continue to inspire his artwork on Saturday September 30th, when he will also be available to chat and sign copies of his book, “Quintessence: The Art of Frederick Phillips”.
Frederick Phillips is a painter for today who uses the techniques of the past to create the masterpieces of the future.
Dedicated to the craft and tradition of oil-painting, even his Limited Edition Prints are created to archival museum-grade standards. His atmospheric paintings are like half-remembered dream images, glimpsed briefly as we awaken. As the artist himself has noted:
“I began by being inspired by the Surrealists, and even today my paintings are not
realistic portraits of the world about me. My work is about memory; I don’t
paint what I see, but the memory of what I have seen”.
Born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1953, Frederick Phillips attended Burslem College of Art where he studied Fine Art under Arthur Berry and graduated in 1974. Following successful exhibitions in the Midlands, in 1981 he moved to London where he began exhibiting his art and soon attracted the attention of an American gallery.
In 1990 he was awarded an ‘Artist of Exceptional Merit’ visa by the USA and moved to Chicago where he lived and worked for 17 years. In 1996 he was invited to lecture on ‘Dream and Reality in Art’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and in 2000, ‘Quintessence’ – a book on his life and his art – was published in America.
Exhibitions of the artist’s work have been held in London, Chicago, New York, Boston, Indianapolis, Michigan, Puerto Rico and Hong Kong.
Following his return to his home town in 2007, the artist continues to deal with his many collectors in the United States as well as establishing new collectors in Europe and the UK through exhibitions in Manchester, Birmingham and Stoke and Cheshire. Additionally, for two years he taught life-drawing at Staffordshire University and he was also invited to join an international panel of judges at the ICEFA competition final in the Czech Republic.
In April 2016, the artist was one of the first to move his studio into the ACAVA Artists’ Studios at the former Spode Works pottery factory in Stoke where he continues to create art and plan future exhibitions.
His work is in private and corporate collections throughout the world.