Exhibitions

Unseen Icons

24-10-2018 - 23-11-2018

BrownswordHepworth Gallery
15 Walton St, Chelsea, London SW3 2HX

These days, it seems, everyone has a camera, a brush, and a story. Everyone has an influence to bear, or a voice to be heard. It is perhaps some kind of tragic beauty that the cacophony of noise around us is now more often a deafening deluge of information and technology, and not the symphony of shared experience art always aspired to be. Perhaps if we pause, watch, wait, and listen, that discordant orchestra of human experience that attacks us from every screen, scream, and hangable surface, can find a new melody that is easier on the ear?

My personal response to the increasing volume of stimuli has always been to step back – to attempt to witness such truth as is available to me, and to hope I hit record. When it happens, the air in a room changes. It’s like a light bulb dimming or a simple exhale of uncluttered breath. Of course, I fail more than I succeed, but in the end, the process is the act, not the outcome.

In the Unseen Icons series, the conversation is about that atmospheric change in a room when trust enters. It is not something that’s “in” a picture, but rather it “is” the picture. It is perhaps something to be discovered in the invisible dialogue between subject and artist. In that single moment shared, it is for me, at least, a feeling full of hope and beauty. When we are lucky, somehow, sometimes, it translates to the recorded image.

 

Press Coverage

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Martha Graham, the mother of contemporary dance, once said:

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”

Over the years, I have filmed, choreographed, and photographed many great human beings, from Amy Winehouse to Sir Paul McCartney, from HRH The Prince Of Wales, Prince (Purple), Annie Lennox & Diana Ross. It never ceases to amaze me how true the wise words of Martha Graham are… if we let that simple act of trust enter the room. After all, trust is one of our first human instincts – an impulse that over time I believe we learn to lose, fight to re-find, and inevitably lose again. In the end, if we take that pause, dare to listen, and watch, I hope – and truly believe – we may finally recover it for good.

 

Phil Griffin, 2018.

Exhibited at:

BrownswordHepworth Gallery
15 Walton St, Chelsea, London SW3 2HX
020 3887 0687
Web: brownswordhepworth.co.uk

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Dark Matter (I)

24-02-2018 - 15-04-2018

An exploration of mans relationship to colour & emotion.

Requiem

25-08-2017 - 31-12-2017

Sunbeam Studios has a unique energy, combining working studios, high fashion, art & Edwardian elegance. The exhibition space is at once a busy thoroughfare full of life and purpose and a calm inspiring ante room that suggest so much more is going on in busy studios that buzz beyond its walls.

“Sunbeam was home for many years, and still feels like home when I walk through its magnificent studios, it is fitting that the Requiem pictures have found a fitting place to rest a while”

Exhibited at:

Sunbeam Studios
Ladbroke Hall, Barlby Road, London W10 6AZ
Web: sunbeamstudios.com

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The Artist/Knight

11-07-2017 - 05-11-2017

Kasteel Van Gasbeek

The Artist/Knight is an exhibition with and about artists imbued with the spirit of chivalry and who bring the knight to life in countless incarnations, ranging from gentle irony to unbounded passion.

The Artist/Knight is an exhibition with and about artists imbued with the spirit of chivalry and who bring the knight to life in countless incarnations, ranging from gentle irony to unbounded passion.

Curator Joanna De Vos has been on a quest and has created an international exhibition for Gaasbeek Castle of artists who feel themselves to be the heirs of the fiercely passionate company of knights. The works of art lead you into an imaginary world that evokes the mind and soul of the knight, with themes such as the self-portrait of the artist as a knight, the accoutrements and character, the fighting, the game of chess and jousting tournaments, the ardent search for authenticity, the self-denial and strength of will that adorn the heraldic shield (or ‘blazon’). A number of works by artists from the first half of the twentieth century give a historic context to the whole.

The Artist/Knight pays homage to the knight as a figure of style, a poetic icon who gallops through our imagination. A quest to find our better self. An encounter with the incorruptible hero we would all like to be.

With works by Marina Abramovic, Uldus Bakhtiozina, Horia Damian, Robert Devriendt, Davide Dormino, Tracey Emin, Jan Fabre, Laurent Grasso, Phil Griffin, Damien Hirst, Oda Jaune, Kubra Khademi, Meiro Koizumi, Barbara Kruger, Pere Llobera, Kris Martin, Jonathan Meese, Fabien Mérelle, Benjamin Moravec, Eleni Mylonas, Luigi Ontani, Antonis Pittas, Quiet Ensemble, Gabriel Roca, Rob Scholte, Adeela Suleman, Hannelore Van Dijck, Hans Van Houwelingen, Marko Velk, Antonello Viola, voorforvaast fanclub, Andy Wauman and Yoko Ono.

“The Artist/Knight has always been a poetic icon who gallops through our imagination.” – Joanna De Vos

‘To be an artist is to wrestle with the conflicts of vulnerability and power, to be a knight is to reconcile them’

Exhibited at:

Kasteel Van Gasbeek
Web: kasteelvangaasbeek.be/en/events/74/the-artist-knight

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Surrender

03-07-2016 - 16-06-2017

Keteleer Gallery Antwerp

This first ever exhibition of photographic art & the companion feature length documentary was held at At the Gallery in Antwerp and curated by gallerist Frederick Keteleer. The series of works in Surrender are about giving up all resistance to the moment..letting go of ego & self-image. This is a surrender that finally leads to the revealing of the inner self. The search into what is hidden behind the face, eyes and skin of a person.

Mount Olympus, a 24 hour theatre performance to “Glorify The Cult Of Tragedy” by controversial Flemish Artist Jan Fabre, took 12 months rehearsals with 27 performers to create. The exhibition & companion film feature length art film “Surrender” was shot entirely by hand on a single camera and a crew of one.

The images and movie captured onstage, backstage and in Fabre’s Atelier offer a quiet & intimate glimpse of the working process of one of the wrlds most radical artists.

 “The photos  present painting-like characteristics. and in these works, Phil Griffin successfully combines drama, fragility and stability in an utterly unique manner that is all his own.” De Morgen

The companion and trigger of the exhibition is the film Surrender created during an extended period as artist in residence at Troubleyn.

In this, the photos become moving images. It depicts a wonderful conversation between two artists years. A conversation of revelation, epiphany and precision to the concept of honesty on stage as a life choice, the film is a conversation that is both verbal and non-verbal. Surrender on film and in single art image conveys a feeling of a life: time, (I’m)mortality and the final surrender of man not only to his fears but also to his true potential.

“I believe this Surrender series is about truly giving in to a shared vulnerability. About finding trust in letting go. As a process, I believe that only by offering my own vulnerability will my collaborator offer me their own. This presents in the form of a deep truth shared between us. It is sometimes ephemeral, intangible, even disturbing, but always deeply open. Often the portraits feel like conversations rather than photographs, like feelings rather than pictures. For me, it is the single moment that both I as observer and performer as observed relinquish all power and for one single moment trust in each other completely that our shared truth with all its fear, hope, tragedy and beauty can be revealed.”

– Phil Griffin

Exhibited at:

Keteleer Gallery
Leopoldstraat 57, 2000 Antwerp – Belgium
Web: keteleer.com/exhibitions/past/phil-griffin-surrender

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