David Phillips is an artist with a longstanding interest in communication within and communication about environments. He employs a methodology centred on analysis of how and why landscapes are formed. To this end, a major theme in this work is narrative and journey.

Recent projects have investigated how space can be manipulated through addition and subtraction. These interventions are developed through paintings and sculptures.

Through interpretations of traditional images, he is interested in drawing together the many threads and fabricating new images, environments and interventions that mediate between meaning and understanding. He says that, “it is my desire is to position my paintings of landscape between the allegorical work of Claude Lorrain, Nicholas Poussin and their contemporaries and later painters such as Thomas Jones and Camille Corot with their interest in the everyday”.

Many of his paintings are proposals for future landscapes populated with objects that he has designed. This idea of ‘objects in landscape’ is something that he has returned to many times. Temples, towers, grottos and fountains traditionally formalise space. He is interested in a similar vocabulary of objects augmented by a contemporary understanding of landscape. Abstract forms such as spires, columns, rods, spheres and pools recall the ruins of antiquity, gathering up qualities.

He intends that this language of avuncular things will provide reference, guidance and reassurance. He sees these interventions as a continuation of the tradition of British landscape design established by Capability Brown and Humphry Repton – an Arcadia where the balance between manipulation and retrocession is indistinguishable.

He is fascinated by the utilisation of myth by artists as a conduit for ideas. In contemporary society, the narratives of the gods appear to be arcane but the themes of power, love, envy, justice and revenge are eternal. As the interaction between mankind and nature is a central theme in such mythology it should be even more relevant today.

David studied fine art at The Royal College of Art and architecture at London South Bank University. He has taught art, design and architecture at undergraduate and postgraduate level in the UK and around the world.