Warm Friends, Cold Cash, 2015, commissioned by Konsthall C, Stockholm, courtesy of the artist, photo: Ciara Phillips
Ciara Phillips works with printmaking processes to make art both alone and in collaboration with others. Through her practice she explores the physical and tactile properties of printing and considers its histories and legacies as they relate to art and the wider realm of information production and dissemination. For the past 15 years she has been using print in ways that refuse to conform to its conventional use in most contexts. Rather than celebrating it for its capacity to reproduce images, she works with what the processes of mediation and transference can produce through the printing process. This she explores through screen-printing, relief printing and etching, making prints on her own terms and opening up the process to others through collaborative working. In both circumstances, improvisation takes precedence over certainty and time is carved out for ideas to be developed through making. In her talk she will discuss her ongoing artwork Workshop, which explores how shared art-making can build solidarity within groups and with others. Workshop makes visible processes of discussion and production that are more commonly kept private, and it proposes that an exhibition can continue to evolve even when the doors to the institution are open and the public are present. It sets in motion a complex set of questions about who should be doing what and why, and it does this by claiming space for thoughts and approaches to be tested out in the presence of others.
Ciara Phillips works with the processes, structures and histories of printmaking to create large-scale installations. Her artwork draws upon the medium’s relationship to the dissemination of information, and she works both alone and in collaboration with others to address questions around what we share, what we don’t, with whom, how, why and with what effect. The work of artists’ collectives such as See Red Women’s Workshop, Chicago Women’s Graphics Collective and Group Material are important influences, and she often makes reference to the screenprints and teaching methodologies of Corita Kent, an American artist, educator and advocate for social justice. In an ongoing project entitled Workshop, Phillips turns gallery spaces into screen-printing studios in which she invites others to collaborate with her on making new prints in situ. Workshop transforms exhibition spaces into places of simultaneous production and display.
Solo exhibitions 2018 Scottish Design Gallery Commission, V&A Dundee (UK). Dog Comes In, Cat Goes Out, Trykkeriet and Tag Team Studio, Bergen (NO). Show Me Your Glow, Glasgow Print Studio, Part of Glasgow International 2018 (UK). 2017Systems for Saying It, part of We The People Are The Work, Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth (UK). Yours and Mine is Ours, Benaki Museum, Athens. 2016Comrade Objects, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston (CA).
Group exhibitions 2018SUPERPOSITION: 21st Biennale of Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney (AU). 2015British Art Show 8 (until 2017), Leeds, Edinburgh, Norwich, Southampton (UK). 2014 Turner Prize 2014, Tate Britain, London.
British Art Show 8, Hayward Touring catalogue, 2015.
Martin Clark (ed.): Ciara Phillips. Just You, exh. cat., Bergen Kunsthall, 2014.
Moira Jeffrey (ed.): Generation: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland: Reader and Guide, National Galleries of Scotland and Glasgow, 2014.