25 January to 21 March 2020
Acclaimed contemporary artist and poet Heather Phillipson mixes images, noises, objects, languages and bodies, to make immersive works that are full of cultural references and emotional responses. TRUE TO SIZE, is a commissioned work for the Arts Council Collection, and is a physical poem, transplanted from Phillipson’s imagination to the gallery space.
Originally commissioned to celebrate the Arts Council Collection’s 70th anniversary, and first exhibited exhibited at Plymouth Arts Centre in 2016 – TRUE TO SIZE, was reconfigured into an open-plan format, to fill the large Nave space at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre in Scunthorpe. Shown for only the second time in its entirety, TRUE TO SIZE featured a series of video and audio works, playing out stimulating, fantastical and furry sculptural narratives.
The installation paired mass-produced materials, such as large printed emojis and teddy bears, with monitors and speakers – creating a ‘mash-up’ of real and digital worlds. In one scene, a bear wearing a pink ball gown climbs a set of cardboard steps, and then emerges triumphant from emoji flames. In another, a bear has cut itself in half with giant emoji scissors.
As hinted to in the title, the exhibition plays with notions of scale, both referring to body self-image and how this is distorted in social-media, and to the uniform scale of emojis, where a flower is displayed at exactly the same size as a volcano!
Images: Heather Phillipson TRUE TO SIZE at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe (Courtesy of the Artist and the Arts Council Collection).