Highlighting PHILIP JARVIS

By RDS Gallery | Posted: Monday April 27, 2020

Philip Jarvis (b. 1968) completed a BA at the Camberwell School of Art (1987-1990). Born in Winchester, U.K., he has spent the last 24 years making art in Dunedin, which he considers his home.

His residencies include the Cowwarr Art Space (2016, Victoria, Australia), the Lochmara Lodge Artist Residency (2012, Marlborough), Wild Creations (2011, DOCO/CNZ Rotorua Lakes), Sturt Craft Centre (2009, Mittagong, NSW), AIR-Vallauris (1997, Vallauris, France). The Museum of New Zealand/Te Papa Tongarewa, the James Wallace Trust, the Frans Hal Museum (the Netherlands), A.I.R. Vallauris (France), the Shepparton Art Gallery (Australia), the Canterbury Museum, and the Otago Museum are among the institutions that own examples of his works.

An artist with a singular vision, Philip Jarvis has also worked collaboratively in the past with Madeleine Child. Their joint work has earned them a Portage Ceramics Premier Award (shared with Jim Cooper) in 2009 and a Sidney Myer Fund Premier Art Award in 2000. Recent exhibitions in Dunedin include ‘Toothpaste Tubes Doing Parkour’ (Rear Window, DPAG, 2017) and ‘Portrait of the Artist as a Young Cactus’ (White Box, Fringe HQ, 2019). He also runs marathons.

Philip Jarvis’s projects are best described as ‘3-D work that crosses a range of disciplines’. His current practice draws on his engagement with ‘clay’, incorporating found objects (ready-mades, including industrial ceramic pipes) as well hand-formed objects. He views his relationship with his art as grounded in a process that he sees as akin to his experiences running marathons.

Philip likens the final stage in the creation of a work to the timeframe in which the runner approaches the finish line. Physical reality impinges on the artist’s consciousness – ‘the reality of clay, it can break’. Philip meditates on these moments: ‘Your brain is high as a kite – you are in pain – there’s an addiction coming through – why do I need it? – out of your comfort zone – last six K’s of the marathon – your stomach is turned outside out – somehow you leave it late – fearful you will never get it again.’

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