Collection Spotlight: Heather Phillipson

This small Collection Spotlight presentation brings together two key recent acquisitions to the Grundy Collection by the British artist Heather Phillipson (b.1978).

Originally featured in Phillipson’s acclaimed exhibition yes, surprising is existence in the post-vegetal cosmorama –. , commissioned and produced by/for BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead in 2013 and re-staged at Grundy in summer 2014, these two works were acquired into the Grundy’s Collection through the support of the Contemporary Art Society.

Present in both works is Phillipson’s grasp of vernacular, both of objects and language, through her work as a visual artist and poet.

Phillipson’s hypnotic and seductive videos are simultaneously familiar and disjunctive. Presented at Grundy, and in the context of Blackpool, the works’ tactics of enticement are amplified, only to be under-cut by play and disquiet.

The video on display, A Is to D What E Is to H (2011) takes in Modernist architecture, boredom, sightseeing, French kissing and cuisine. In its original configuration, the video film was is seen from inside a yellow Peugeot 406, an experience described by critic Adrian Searle, writing in the Guardian, as like ‘a virtual-reality drive-through car wash’.

The same yellow paint of the Peugeot 406 has been repurposed here as a back drop for this presentation of works placing the works in an approximate environment to their original presentation.

HD video (loop), Running time: 11.55

Phillipson‌ ‌exhibits nationally and internationally. In 2020, she presented THE END, as the 13th annual Fourth Plinth Commission in Trafalgar Square and in she was the recipient of Britain’s annual Duveen Gallery commission in 2021. Phillipson currently is a nominee for the 2022 Turner Prize.


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