Heather Phillipson’s practice mixes images, noises, objects, languages and bodies. Her immersive works are full of cultural references and emotional responses, suggesting her close dialogue with the materials she uses. Language plays a fundamental role in Phillipson’s creative processes: in addition to being a celebrated artist she is also an award-winning poet.
Her commission for the Arts Council Collection’s 70th anniversary, TRUE TO SIZE is a series of video and audio works that play out stimulating, fantastical and furry sculptural narratives. It pairs mass-produced materials, such as large printed emojis and teddy bears, with monitors and speakers. In one scene, a bear wearing a pink ball gown climbs a set of cardboard steps, and then emerges triumphant from emoji flames. In another, a bear has cut itself in half with giant emoji scissors. Phillipson describes the emojis as stand-ins for nouns. This is a commission in its freest sense, a physical poem transplanted from Phillipson’s imagination to the Arts Council Collection.
The work’s visual register and its materials are sourced from the Internet. Her videos use images and snippets of language found online, and the large cuddly toys were bought from web shops. TRUE TO SIZE is multi-layered and stimulating, merging banal and easily digested online culture with ideas of fantasy, emotion and care.
- Artwork Details:
- Material description: Mixed media with video and sound
- Credit line: A 70th Anniversary Commission for the Arts Council Collection.© the artist.
- Medium: Installation
- Accession number: ACC23/2015