Art Criticism, Art History, Arts Ministry, Painting, Printmaking, Theology, Works on Paper
Artist / Personal Statement
My recent work extends painting into a sculptural or installation-like use of space. The paintings become a collage at an architectural scale, The work evolved through putting painterly representation under great strain. There is a rich practice of painting: layered in surface, mark making, visual languages, and the array of images. I have undone this constructive labour, however, slicing and puncturing it with a knife. I then reassembled the fragments and shards to create a symbolic interior space.
Accomplishments / CV
The practice of painting has become, for Phil Irish, a way of exploring the world, stimulating imagination, and of sparking deep exchange with others.
Irish attained his Masters of Fine Arts at York University, 2012. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art and English Literature from the University of Guelph, in 1995. His contribution to the Francophonie International Painting Competition was exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada in 2001. Exhibitions at public museums, artist-run-centres, and commercial galleries include the Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery, Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, Joyce Yahouda Gallery, Angell Gallery, and AKA Artist Run Centre. Group exhibitions across Canada and the United States have featured his work.
He has developed new work during residencies at the Pouch Cove Artists Residency in Newfoundland, at the Symposium in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec, and as the City of Kitchener’s Artist in Residence. Irish applied his painterly vision to a web-based artwork commissioned by Oakville Galleries in 2005. The interactive project, titled “Whereabouts,” address issues of personal mapping and hidden histories.
Irish is also the principle curator at the Minarovich Gallery, in the Elora Centre for the Arts. He has developed thematic and solo projects with artists such as John Kissick, Ed Burtynsky, and Sara Angelucci.
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