Colleen Philippi, "Plaza Martini," oil, mixed media on wood, 2011, 46" X 17".
A to Z, September 17 to October 22, Newzones, Calgary
BY: Jill Sawyer
Five years in the making, Calgary artist Colleen Philippi has amassed a new series of tactile mixed media collages, based in meticulous references to pop culture, organic objects, segments of the human form, and meditations on colour. Philippi’s work draws the viewer to interact — small-handled drawers and doors can be opened, expanding the experience, and giving a new cast to each piece. Messages and ideas are hidden throughout in trompe l’oeil designs, inviting prolonged study. Key to this series is Philippi’s own life as an artist, and the inspiration she’s taken from a long career, the methods and techniques she’s used. Each work has an element of personal history, from the creative to the domestic, with the sense of opening up self-referential rooms. Originally from Winnipeg, Philippi graduated with a BFA from the University of Alberta, and has long been based in Calgary. This show is the result of the studied, sometimes years-long work, both representational and artisanal, that goes into these pieces.