Tate Britain Commission - Heather Phillipson Rapture No 1:Blowtorching The Bitten Peach

Martyn White

Posted on October 09 2021

Heather Phillipson engulfs Tate Britain’s grand central galleries with colour, sound and motion.


Heather Phillipson takes over the Tate Britan's grand central galleries with the latest commission titled 'Rapture No 1: Blowtorching the Bitten Peach'. Described by Phillipson as a ‘pre-post-historic environment’, the work and its title evoke an abundance of sensations and associations that resist coherence. The artist says she is attempting to ‘cultivate strangeness, and its potential to generate ecstatic experience’. 

Through multiple, unexpected combinations, she conjures absurd and complex systems. Here, salvaged machines, colossal papier-mâché sculptures and hand-painted scenes are layered with digital video and sound. Mountains of salt, bisected aircraft fuel tanks, mobile gas canisters, rotating anchors and shapeshifting roof vents are doused with tinted light. Everything is remixed and redeployed.

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Phillipson’s multimedia projects include video, sculpture, installation, music, poetry and digital media. She describes her works as ‘quantum thought experiments’. They often carry an underlying sense of threat – a suggestion that, in the artist’s words, ‘received ideas, images and the systems that underpin them may be on the verge of collapse’.

The installation immerses visitors in an extreme environment, surrounded by strong colours and unusual noises, testing the senses to the extreme. Even after leaving the installation there is a short moment of pause and confusion as one tries to re-evaluate their surroundings, exactly as the artist intends. 

See the video below for a short tour of the installation. 



 

Heather Phillipson Rapture No 1:Blowtorching The Bitten Peach exhibits at the Tate Britain gallery until 23rd January 2022. For more information on this exhibition and more, please click the link to visit the official Tate website. 

 




Thank you for reading. If you liked this post, here are a few more recommendations relating to art and installations.

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