Heather Welsh, Marketing Officer for the Arts Council Collection, explores the work of Heather Phillipson, whose work TRUE TO SIZE shows as part of Too Cute! Sweet is about to get Sinister, an Arts Council Collection National Partners Exhibition curated by Rachel Maclean.
Working across video, sculpture, drawing, music, text and live events, artist Heather Phillipson’s immersive works are full of cultural references, emotional responses revealing an intimate dialogue with the materials she uses.
Her commission for the Arts Council Collection’s 70th anniversary, TRUE TO SIZE, is a suite made of multiple video and audio refrains, constructed within a series of sculptural vignettes. Visually, it includes oversized, printed emojis and human scale soft toys which Phillipson describes as “kind of surrogate, genderless beings, which for me also has to do with care, human-animal relations and of course fantasy, all of which are recurring themes within my work”.
As well as these themes, Phillipson also heavily references the language of the Internet and indeed advertising. She explains; “I’ve called the commission TRUE TO SIZE, a slogan which is of course taken from advertising or product packaging, because it’s really subjecting scale, as an objective fact as both a physical and virtual property, by which I mean, emotions as much as perceived dimensions, to various kinds of pressures.” Both the work’s visual register and its materials are sourced from the Internet.