Exhibitions and Awards

Awards:

2017 First Prize, Annual Old Passage Art Award

2012 RWA 159th Exhibition, ‘Excellence in watercolour’, 2nd prize

2012 National Open Art Competition, Arts Club Dover Prize for the Finest Drawing

2007 SSA Annual Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy, Grampian Hospitals Purchase Prize

Selected exhibitions:

2019 RWA 167 Autumn Exhibition, Clifton

2017 The Gentle Wild, Tetbury Goods Shed

2016 Winter Exhibition, Subscription Rooms, Stroud

2016 New works, Prema Arts , Uley

2015 Beastly Magic, Select International Festival

2015 SVA Open Studios

2014 Highland Show, Arusha Gallery, Edinburgh

2014 Cotswold Artists Show, Paragon Gallery, Cheltenham

2014 Works on paper Art Fair, Science Museum

2013 Tundra, Solo Exhibition, Celia Lendis Contemporary

2013 Tiny Lions and Giant Snails, View Gallery, Bristol

2013 Works on paper Art Fair, Science Museum

2012 Five Women Painters, Celia Lendis Contemporary

2011 Works on paper Art Fair, Science Museum

2011 Give it to me, Rabley Contemporary

2010 Site10 Contemporary Drawing Show, Stroud

2010 Mirror, The Space, Stroud

2010 London Art Fair, Business Design Centre

2010 The Dog Show, Stoneman Gallery, Penzance

2010 Affordable Art Fair, London

2010 Solo Exhibition: If Wishes were Horses, Black Swan Arts, Frome

2009 Little Wonder, St Annes’ Galleries, Lewes

2009 The Snow Queen and other Tales, Rabley Contemporary

2009 157th Autumn Exhibition, Royal West of England Academy

2009 Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts

2009 Affordable Art Fair, New York

2009 Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park

2009 London Art Fair, Business Design Centre, London

2008 Solo Exhibition; Bring on the Dancing Bears, Rabley Contemporary Drawing Centre

2008 156th Autumn Exhibition, Royal West of England Academy

2008 Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts

2008 SSA Annual Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy

2008 The Drawing Show, Stroud 08

2008 The 100% Show, Maugermodern Art, Bath

2008 Art for Rosie, Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh

2008 Whats up with illustration?, Mauger Modern Art, Bath

2007 The Jerwood Drawing Prize, London & UK Tour

2007 RWA 155th Autumn Exhibition

2007 Paisley Drawing Biennale, PAI

2007 Solo Exhibition; Family Tales, Kendrick Street Gallery, Stroud

2007 The Darbyshire Prize, Museum in the Park, Stroud

2007 Celeste Art Prize, Shortlisted Artist

2007 SSA Annual Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy, Award Winner

2006 RWA 154th Autumn Exhibition

2006 The Jerwood Drawing Prize, London & UK Tour

2006 The Cheltenham Open, Pitville Gallery, Cheltenham

2006 The Drawing Show 06, Stroud 06

2006 Parallel Narratives, Rabley Contemporary

2005 Presqu Vu, Paintworks, Bristol

Permanent Collections

The British Museum, Prints and Drawings

Grampian Hospitals Arts Trust

Bath Spa University

Education

2005 MFA, Bath Spa University

2004 First Class Honours Degree, Fine Art Drawing, Oxford Brookes University

A commentary by artist friend and writer Colin Glen, grateful thanks to him for the following essay

Kerry Phippen Commentary. 2019

Kerry Phippen has long had an affinity with animals and the natural world. Brought up in Perth, Scotland, her childhood was spent in the surrounding hills and her holidays on the West Coast, with its abundance of wildlife. As solace from a complicated family life, she sought communion with nature, gaining from it an essential element of sustenance, the possibility to reach beyond the narrow trammels of human interaction in a search for identity and meaning. Indeed, much of her early work, on leaving art college, took the form of a re-adaption of her self – often depicting fairy tale-like figures evocative of characters such as Little Red Riding Hood or The Little Prince and also somewhat reminiscent of the self-empowered children portrayed by artist Paula Rego. Phippen enlisted the engaging volte-face where rather than fearing a malevolent animal presence – essentially a sublimation of brooding human malice – her figures are, instead, found to be in intimate dialogue with the creatures of the natural world – reversing the human/animal hierarchy by placing the figure as listener and learner.

Examples of this transformed relationship are to be seen in the fine work, Horse and Boy, 2008, where both characters are depicted in radiant red ink, the boy crouching in attendance to the peacefully-seated creature. This liaison is also apparent in the incredibly touching, more recent, Soul to Soul, 2016. The listening person and horse intimately connect both in the way their foreheads meet by touch and through Phippen’s archetypal technique of using flowing ink. The medium physically links the subjects while they commune, creating a space of sharing between animal and human; the ‘bond’, for her, being an ‘unspoken flow between the two’. Such enchanting connection with almost spirit-like entitities – the hare, the wolf, the bear and horse, which have kinship with Karl Jung’s notion of the archetypal image, took centre stage in her oeuvre forming the body of work that she is now widely known and loved for.

Phippen articulates just such a passionate connection with the animal world through her favoured medium of coloured inks, by means of its ‘magical unpredictability’ as she hails it. Beginning with Indian ink for sketching and drawing, she wets the paper in the invisible form of a potential creature then allows droplets of ink to flow and draw out of their own accord, in patterns she follows, which suggest to her a being that she can bring to presence. Colour has become an increasingly significant part of these works as she has developed her range of inks, whose direct vividness and saturation speak of a heightened state, a near hallucinatory quality of attention.

A significant turn in her work has come in 2018 with a trip to the mountainous landscape of Norway, motivated initially by a fascination with Reindeer, her empathy with nature extended to the whole living world of the landscape. The journey cast light on her relationship with her native Scotland, heralding a return to the sombre brooding tones of dark inks and grey pastels. Curiously, the dense saturation of colour; distant blues, purples and ochres that constitute the actual landscape are here evoked in the memory of the viewer through Phippen’s subtle use of composition – the eye led always through the view, snaking around hillsides and along courses of water that she animates succinctly with a multitude of layered interweaving lines. Interestingly, the knowledge of her native landscape, beyond its sublime beauty, is with its underlying mystery, evoked by her brooding dark shapes of islands or land masses as they sit closer to the spectator. In a sense then, Phippen sublimates the animism of her connection with animals to a kind of shamanism of the landscape, the hills, sky and water courses replete with a warm living active presence akin to embodied beings.
Phippen’s vision of the natural world connects with the writing of Kathleen Jamie, whom she cites as a cornerstone of her art practice. The latter’s everyday poetry of experience of living in ‘the intimate unknown’ of North of Scotland accords with Phippen’s own notion of ‘nature within’ all of us.

Kerry Phippen lives and works in Stroud, Gloucestershire and has two grown-up daughters.

Colin Glen is an artist and writer based in Stroud. His practice is concerned with observing and enhancing the flights of the imagination that occur while making detailed pencil drawing studies of discarded and distorted wire objects. Kerry and Colin have continued an ongoing impromptu conversation spanning more than a decade about the mutual concerns of their individual practices.