KEEP FLOATING 2011
TEJO PHILIPS



Tejo Philips Keep Floating

Saturday 8 January to Wednesday 9 February 2011 Opening / New Years reception: Saturday 8 January 16 - 18.

Not many people are aware of this, but sculptor Tejo Philips (1960 Den Helder) has a studio close to the North Sea, and for this show, such close proximity to water has influenced his recent work. Philips continues to produce imaginative, surprising pieces which have the lively charm of characters in a 'strip' cartoon book. There is a serious side to this inventive work, however. He says that it is a considered response to the dire state we are all in - wherever we are in the world, and his ceramics playfully allude to phrases used to describe uncertain times: "banks are 'going under', 'we either sink or swim', 'drowning in debt". In doing so, Philips appears to take on the role of a secret diver, listening to the economic and social zeitgeist with his alert artist's antennae. He then produces ingenious composite pieces which simultaneously have the quiet presence of three-dimensional stilt life sculptures (especially his small mechanically inspired globes in a dish), but they defy any sense of foreboding and gloom with their timely idiosyncrasy.

  He still glazes his pieces in subtle shades of pale blue but has recently added sombre blue-black 'tints', perhaps alluding to the seriousness of what is happening in many people's lives today (as well as to the colours of the sea on a grey Dutch day). There are also references to the idea of being watched, the inclusion of curious figures peering through tiny telescopes invites questions about who is looking at who, and for what nefarious or benign purpose. He is aware that we all need to be reminded to 'keep your head above water', but he isn't a harbinger of doom- instead we see delightful blown up rubber rings constructed from clay - the kind of innocent toys used on a carefree holiday. He told me "We have to be floating. About the North Pole, South Pole, everything is in flux". Like cheery adventurers' equipment found in picture books, two objects have a compass, one "is a big church with a cake over it, and there are telescopes, or cameras everywhere", because, Philips says; "the human being is always looking beyond to other borders and the reality is what you see on the computer screen not the confusing disappointment when you arrive."   Tejo Philips Keep Floating

These fascinating sculptures seem inspired by a diverse range of objects from popular culture- a Chinese yellow Buddha with an egg timer "sitting on a metal rope", a globe and found objects such as a yellow MacDonald's car from the 1980's placed behind his ceramic sculptures. For the first time, he also shows around ten drawings, using pencil and oil paint on paper. Look out for things that might float, perhaps a metallic black figure with ultramarine flippers carrying an underwater umbrella; animated things full of quirky life. These ingenious follies are the perfect antidote to our difficult times; ideal viewing for a grey winter's day.

Siobhan Wall 2010
Tejo Philips -


Tejo Philips -
 
Tejo Philips -
 
Tejo Philips -
 
Tejo Philips -
             
Tejo Philips -
 
Tejo Philips -
 
Tejo Philips -
 
Tejo Philips -
























© Copyright  2017  Tejo Philps - contact