New Feature Exhibition in May April 15 2021
May 1 - 28, 2021
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 1, 4-7 PM
Artists Talk: Friday, May 28, 11 AM
Image: Audrey Phillips, Softest of Mornings, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 40 inches
About the Exhibition
Audrey Phillips, known for her abstract, gestural paintings, is back for her third solo exhibition at Arts on Douglas. This time, Phillips is presenting a new body of work highly influenced by this past year of the pandemic. Phillips explains that she experienced a stream of conflicting emotions during this time, elaborating that, “This constant back and forth between fear and gratitude made me more aware of the impermanence of both our lives and our thoughts. I was not in control of anything except letting go of what my life would look like in the next year. Surrendering to the concept of impermanence helped me let go of attaching my happiness to things staying the same.”
During the isolation, Audrey found great comfort in nature and her garden. There she witnessed nature’s ever-evolving process of impermanence—as plants bloomed and sustained themselves, then eventually faded and died. Witnessing this natural state of vulnerability highly influenced the direction of her new body of work. In her exhibition statement, she explains, “Through nature’s light, texture, and colors there is a special vibration I feel when I’m in its presence. The vibration becomes a dialogue that is unique to me and the natural world. When I step out into it, there is a familiarity to the language. And although there are no words, there is something being spoken between us.”
For Phillips, the creative process is just as important as the finished painting. Standing before the white canvas, each piece is a mysterious journey, and she is never sure what direction it will lead. As she quiets her mind and embraces the unknown, she creates a flow between herself and the canvas, working through chaos and confusion towards a state of balance. As Phillips explains, “art-making reminds me that I am a part of the exuberant and always changing energy that is life. Together with the paint, the brushes, and the surface, a transformation takes place within me and the canvas. As with life, I find both the journey and the outcome endlessly intriguing.”
About the Artist
Audrey Phillips has spent most of her life in Florida where the landscape captivated the artist from a formative age. Observing the expansive sky and the far-reaching vistas of the ocean augmented her ability to see in the abstract and also encouraged personal reflection, making her strongly attuned to the beautiful intelligence and power of nature.
Audrey received her Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Florida. She has exhibited in solo and group shows in Minnesota, New York, Michigan, California, Texas, New Mexico, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida, where she currently lives. Her work is in numerous United States and international corporate and private collections. A large permanent collection of 54 of her paintings, acquired by the University of Tampa for permanent installation, can be seen at the newly renovated Southard Family Building.