with a heartbeat of profound emotion, I awoke

with a heartbeat of profound emotion, I awoke, 2023

Using installation, photography, digital imaging tools, and assemblage, Phillips explores ideas of ornament and surface, and their relationship with both handcraft and digital forms of artistic labour. Installed in the Great Hall, a structure made from both bought and salvaged wood supports the display of a series of photographs. The photographs interpret the concept of nostalgia as that which has informed the architectural and aesthetic style imagined by William Waldorf Astor and realised through the design of Two Temple Place. In Phillips’ work, nostalgia is interpreted as a cultivating practice of ‘nearness’ – an ongoing process which engages in acts of collecting, repairing, restoring, displaying, and maintaining remnants.

The photographic works have been made adapting this concept of nostalgia to be used as a creative methodology in which to approach image-making. Digital tools commonly used within post-production such as layering, removing, ‘cloning’, ‘healing’, and brushing are here employed for their aesthetic qualities. These images take as their subject matter decorative motifs, symbols, and material elements used across the building as a way to decode the visual language manifested throughout Two Temple Place. Other objects have been photographed in a way that draws upon conventions of the still-life genre in order to portray the artist’s ‘everyday aesthetics’ whilst simulating the affective nature of the building as felt through texture, grain, tone, and detail.

The title ‘with a heartbeat of profound emotion, I awoke’ is a line taken from a short story written by William Waldorf Astor for the Pall Mall Magazine in 1900, and forms the basis in which the work unpacks the notion of nostalgia present in the building.

Practice in Savageness I & II, framed inkjet print, 2023