Colleen Philippi’s artwork immediately captures the attention of the viewer. A sense of mysticism comes from her highly creative and personal visual vocabulary of secrets, treasure, allegories, astronomy, poetry and memory, working to create unique moments in time.
In her latest series, Philippi contemplates and addresses how our lives are alternately formed of chaos and our attempts to create order from such chaos. Thoughts of, regrets for and daydreams of the life one has and the life that might have been, mix in our conscious and unconscious minds. Suffering and joy, despondency and elation coexist: informing,enhancing and highlighting one another.
"I have uncovered many things in this work, but the most magical have been that chaos can be an organizing principle and that additive can eventually become subtractive. Out of an evolving slow motion process come works possessed of a stillness, elation and complexity", states Philippi.
Philippi investigates the use of assemblage to resemble the found object. This artistic process is driven by self-referencing allusions, such as the use of painting palettes, letters, scraps of images and textures as key visual elements.
Stylistically and conceptually, Philippi is assembling from visual building blocks: partial and full letters, word fragments, signs, basic geometric shapes and patterns, colour samples, paint and colour palettes, pieces of isolated or displaced furniture, human anatomy, images of landscape, insects, butterflies, etc. Combined, all of these simple components work together to create meaning to which the viewer adds his or her own significance.
Philippi’s artwork invites viewers to look closely to see how it is constructed. Throughout her creations, there is a visual use of “tromp l’oeil” effects, in that handles are not initially apparent and what appears to be collage is in truth painted by the artist’s hand.
Colleen Philippi received her BFA from the University of Alberta in 1982. Ms. Phillippi has a long exhibition history and exhibits internationally at art fairs with Newzones. Besides finding her magical assemblages in private, corporate, and museum collections, locally, nationally, and internationally, she has completed commissions for Rotary Flames House, Calgary, AB., Island Hospital Anacortes, Seattle, WA, Swedish Foundation, Seattle, WA, and Pason Systems Ltd, Calgary, AB., amongst others.