Phyllida Barlow

I first came across the artist Phyllida Barlow when watching her interview/documentary on the BBC iPlayer. Here is a short summary on the documentary which I have taken from the iPlayer website.

Phyllida Barlow’s sculptures are massive and appear precarious. For decades, she has worked on a monumental scale with the most unmonumental materials. After many years of being ignored by curators and collectors, and against all odds, Barlow has only recently secured art-world acclaim. This year, she will represent Britain at the 57th Venice International Art Biennale in 2017.

Journalist Lynn Barber describes her sculptures as massive and precarious. The idea of the sculptures appearing as if they are not held securely is particularly interesting because when use with the large scale phyllida works with it presents the viewer a sense of fear and makes you question how the sculptures are structurally possible. It is this aspect of her work that has inspired me to look into her work further and explore how I could use this technique within my own artwork. I also like the use of everyday material Phyllida uses within he sculptures such as scrap wood and cement. These materials for me bring back memories of some kind of urban space.

Untitled:Upturned house, 2 (2015)
Untitled: Stack (2015)
Untitled: Screestage, (2013)

Phyllida Barlow’s work has informed the way I have designed and constructed my final piece. For example the different layers of the city are precarious like the work of this artist. I wanted to use this to give the feeling of the structure falling apart in a moment similar to the way you would wake up within a dream. The artworks below demonstrate where I gathered the inspiration toward making my final piece.

I have also used a similar techniques to construct the concrete blocks in the artwork. Phyllida uses polystyrene pieces covered in cement to make them appear as heavy cast concrete. This allows her to exagerate the preceriousness of her work. I have tried using this technique within my final piece to play on the feeling of a surreal urban space. These urban like materials present the viewer with memories of an urban environment, which is what I want my final piece to convey.




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