We are pleased to present a new exhibition of works by Phil Root, New Build.
New Build incorporates a series of work made over the last two years which explore modern and traditional relationships to dwelling and our relationship to the earth. Through a series of symbolic and semi functional ceramics the work meanders through narratives of working the land, habitation and modes of transport which culminates as a fictional encounter with a new build housing estate by the M4 motorway which happened to be placed at intersections with a pre-holocene road and energetic ley line.
Root’s work depicts collapsing motorways amongst outsized raindrops and mushrooms, hay carts burning incense and medieval church doors, combining and contrasting modern developments with folklore, myth and nature.
There are also four new plaster works which depict scenes from the new build windows, through the panels we see aspects outside the archetypal new build home, natural elements, including a tree, supplanted from painting by Bruegel as well as a sea of bricks and the glow of the Waitrose supermarket that was one of the initial inspirations for this body of work - after witnessing the fully completed shop standing in isolation waiting for the housing estate to be built around it. Root came across this scene while researching ley lines that cross the M4 motorway, one of which, it is said, runs through Letchworth Garden City.
Primarily working between ceramics and painting, Root’s work positions itself between the two. Often beginning with a process of research looking at societal and economic ways of living and thinking within the pre and post industrial era. The work is then developed through making and experimentation, often using recurring motifs and symbols, examining the potential for use in art as a utilitarian, theatrical and transformative object.
Phil Root graduated from Goldsmiths College in 2006. During his residency at Wysing Arts Centre in 2011 he co-founded The Grantchester Pottery with artist Giles Round and in 2016 they were awarded the Freelands Lomax Ceramics Fellowship at Camden Arts Centre. He is also co-founder of Caraboo Projects in Bristol and visiting lecturer at University of West England. Recent exhibitions include: These are the days my friends, Kupfer Projects and Lunar Gardening, Kingsgate Project Space, London, 2019, How Small a Thought, Margate Festival, 2019 and Host, Intersession, Northampton, 2018.