Newzones is excited to celebrate its 25th anniversary along side “Beautiful Mess”, a solo exhibition by Calgary based artist Colleen Philippi!
Philippi’s assemblage artwork immediately captures the attention of the viewer. A sense of mysticism comes from her highly creative and personal visual vocabulary of secrets, treasure, allegories, astronomy, poetry and memory, working to create unique moments in time.
This newest series is a collection of untried ideas: ideas with technical or formal challenges Philippi was unable to resolve. There were prophetic "forerunner” pieces that remained orphans until she reached an understanding that enabled her to make additional related works. These ideas remained in limbo as paper ideas or daydreams, anticipating the day that their time to materialize would arrive. With this show, their time has arrived in the form of an alternative retrospective, something from a parallel world of untried ideas encompassing the eight solo shows Philippi has had at Newzones over the 25 years together.
Stylistically and conceptually, Philippi is assembling from visual building blocks: partial and full letters, word fragments, signs, basic geometric shapes and patterns, colour samples, paint and colour palettes, pieces of isolated or displaced furniture, human anatomy, images of landscape, insects, butterflies, etc. Combined, these simple components work together to create meaning to which the viewer adds his or her own significance.
Colleen Philippi received her BFA from the University of Alberta in 1982. Ms. Philippi has a long exhibition history and exhibits internationally at art fairs with Newzones. Besides finding her magical assemblages in private, corporate, and museum collections, locally, nationally, and internationally, she has completed commissions for Rotary Flames House, Calgary, AB., Island Hospital Anacortes, Seattle, WA, Swedish Foundation, Seattle, WA, and Pason Systems Ltd, Calgary, AB., amongst others.