Kerry Phillips

Eliciting relationships of a collective narrative while challenging notions of place and the value we assign things, I work with beautifully rich objects and items that are borrowed, discarded, or collected. I invite others to share their things, collect all of a particular kind of thing from my studio, or gather together the engaging things that others have cast aside. I’m especially drawn to things that are stumbled upon unexpectedly or repeatedly, things that might have been dropped by accident or loved to death, things that are wearing away or falling down or constantly being mended, or things that are no longer useful or have fallen out of purpose.

I work intuitively, responding to sites and available materials, creating a candid representation, or inventory, of specific moments in time and place. Through my process of play, my work honors the memory that the thing or place holds—of those who have touched the thing, loved it, passed it down, left it behind, used it, and eventually discarded it—opening the door for new memories to be formed.  
The physical results become meditative spaces in which you can project your own relationships and stories onto the objects assembled together. Though, as often as not, the results of my actions remain simply a memory of a collective interaction—a holding dear of the story that was told and the value transferred, or shared, from one person to another. In this sense I consider myself a finder and keeper of assigned value more than a finder and keeper of things. I’m fascintated by how we assign value to things, to moments, and how and why that value can fade or deepen over time.  

Kerry Phillips has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions including projects with Locust Projects, the Miami Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Art & Culture Center of Hollywood, ArtCenter/SouthFlorida, the Girls’ Club Collection, The Deering Estate & Bridge Red Studios Project Space. Phillips performed Sometimes your things (the great exchange) at Pulse Art Fair, Miami, in association with Girls’ Club Fort Lauderdale and Crush Letters at the Last Minute Performance Festival, Krakow, Poland.

She was awarded the 2015 South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship for Visual & Media Artists and created an installation at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens for its Lost Spaces and Stories of Vizcaya project. She’s received other grants for her art making from public and private organizations as well as residencies and shows in Ohio, Vermont, New York, North Carolina, Berlin, Krakow and France. Phillips has a BFA from Florida International University, Miami, and an MFA from University of Arizona, Tucson.

Phillips lives and works in Miami.