A sense of potential and possibility: Susan Philips

Susan Phillips' werken hebben het intrigerende vermogen om met eenvoudige vormen de grondslagen van de waarneming te onderzoeken en een gevoel van potentieel en mogelijkheid op te roepen. In haar onderzoek legt ze de nadruk op heruitvinding en verandering, in plaats van op vaste, concrete resultaten. In dit opzicht sluit zij zich aan bij de Braziliaanse dichter en kunstcriticus Ferreira Gullar in zijn verdediging van een kunst die vorm, ruimte en kleuren zag als "niet [behorend] tot deze of gene artistieke taal, maar tot de levende en onbepaalde ervaring van de mens", en die in staat was om met eenvoud een transcendente beeldtaal te creëren.  (Marcio Junji Sono, Ambassade van Brazilië Londen 2018)
Susan Phillips' works have an intriguing capacity of employing simple forms to examine the very grounds of perception and evoke a sense of potential and possibility. In her investigations, she emphasises reinvention and change, rather than fixed, concrete results. In this respect, she corroborates Brazilian poet and art critic Ferreira Gullar in his defense of an art which saw shape, space and colours as "not [belonging] to this or that artistic language, but to the living and indeterminate experience of man", and was able to create a transcendental visual language with simplicity.  (Marcio Junji Sono, Embassy of Brazil London 2018)

I am interested in the way in which a model or plan can simplify our perception, and can evoke in us a sense of potential and possibility—one that emphasises re-invention and change rather than fixed concrete results. My work is informed by an interest in architecture, minimalism and psychology.

Working in series, I employ planar form and geometric abstraction as a visual language with which to explore compositional relationships—pairing opposing elements, with the aim of finding unity within the whole.

I create constructed sculptures in porcelain, using cutting to define structure and simple re-arrangement of form to allow internal spaces to be framed whilst avoiding an oppressive sense of enclosure.

It is my intention that the work retains a raw materiality and a transparency of making process. My aim is not to create an image, but rather to isolate a moment within a process of continued transformation.

Hailing from her studio in rural North Herefordshire on the border of England and Wales, Philips’s art has gained international attention for its pared-back aesthetic and unique ability to trick the eye. Informed by an interest in architecture and minimalism, her sculptural work employs planar form and geometric abstraction as a visual language to explore compositional relationships. 

Carefully adjusting different elements with the aim to find harmony in opposition, her sculptures investigate the interplay between independence and interdependence, fragment and whole, and open versus closed. Intriguing and dynamic, they highlight themes of reinvention and change. “My aim is not to create an image, but rather to isolate a moment within a process of continued transformation,” she says. (Devid Gualandris Ignant)


Susan Phillips was born in Bedford, UK in 1978.

From 1996 to 1999 she studied a BA hons In Studio Ceramics at Falmouth College of Arts in Cornwall. Having established a studio in rural North Herefordshire after leaving College, Susan has developed her visual language and making skills alongside raising her two children.

Working in collaboration with design projects has led to her work being shown in both Los Angeles and Milan.
As a visual artist her work has been informed by an interest in architecture and minimalism.
Susan’s abstract art has been featured in numerous exhibitions across the UK and internationally, most recently at the Korean International Ceramics Biennale in 2019. You’ll also find her work in permanent collections such as the Embassy of Brazil in London. In addition, she has won several awards, including the International VIA Art Prize in 2017 and the gold medal for craft and design at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in 2014.(Riseart.com)
tot je beseft
dat elke lijn en vlak
een beweging is
waarin je de wereld
in het evenwicht
vallen en opstaan.
Zelfs de zwaarte
kan dan zweven.

until you realize
that every line and plane
is a movement
in which you love the world
in the balance
falling down and getting up.

Even the heaviness
can then soar.