A Darker Thread: Philippa Lawrence

In Another Light (Detail)
Sheepskin parchment, white gold, monofilament

“This is a work about memory, time and almost imperceptible but unstoppable change. The holes are seared into gilded sheepskin parchment before being cut out and threaded onto monofilament to create a delicate mass of barely there substance. A hole cannot exist without the material that frames it, and the work is as much about absence as it is about presence. Time is key, in the making of the work, but also, the white gold will slowly and subtly tarnish and change over time. This is the second in a series of works, over-archingly called ‘Nothing is Something’. The works are an expression of fragmentation and of unified separate moments that reflect something of the human condition, as well as the artist’s concern with ‘the impossibility of things remaining the same”.


Soft Target

Kidsilk Haze yarn

One in a series of 13 hand crafted pom pom targets.

Word play and language have often informed and inspired work, as have the choice, transformation and placement of materials to draw out meaning.  Soft Target is a play on words that acknowledges Claus Oldenburg’s soft sculptures.  The pompom is one of the first low craft objects that children learn to make. ‘Soft Target’ serves as a comment on the vulnerable, especially children during a military or terrorist attack.”


Philippa Lawrence was born in Louth, Lincolnshire. She graduated from Norwich School of Art with a 1st Class (hons) Degree in Fine Art in 1990. After graduating she did a residency at Gresham’s School, Holt to fund her MA in Printmaking at the Royal College of Art (1991-1993). She is Principal Lecturer on ‘Artist, Designer: Maker’ at Cardiff School of Art & Design, Cardiff Metropolitan University. She lives and works in Bristol with a studio at Spike Island.

Her practice is diverse, embracing land and environmental art, the use of textiles in a fine art context, and the relationship between art, craft and design.  Since 2003 her practice has been primarily site-responsive, concerned with issues related to human relationships to land, nature and place. Issues revolve around: boundaries, land use, land ownership, an increasing concern with imposed limitations, and an encroachment on humankind’s wild spaces – both the public and geographic and the private and psychological. Materials and process are equally important to her as is a consideration of the multiple sites we occupy.

Work pivots on material exploration, drawing out a material’s ability to carry metaphor and speak of human experience, and in a positioning of elements to assist an understanding of site and a re-activation of space. Trained in Fine Art Printmaking at Norwich School of Art and the Royal College of Art Philippa maintains an interest in the language of making, in the multiple and in process.

Philippa works on site-specific projects, commissions and exhibitions. She has exhibited widely both in the UK and internationally, including America, Japan, Czech Republic, Canada, Iceland and Australia. Notable exhibitions include ‘Angles of Incidence’ through AiRx and the British Council, at Singapore Botanic Gardens and at Inner Temple London (2014), ‘Encounters at the Edge of the Forest’, (2014) Chicago, USA, ‘Cloth & Memory {2} (2013) Salts Mill, Saltaire, ‘Bite-Size’ at the Daiwa Anglo Foundation and subsequent tour to Japan (2012) and commissions for Waddesdon Manor (2013-4), ‘Darning the Land: Seam’ at Church Gresley, Derbyshire (2011) for re:place, ‘Bound V-57’ for ‘Nature Unframed’ at Morton Arboretum, Lisle, USA (2011) and for Meadow Art Gallery ‘Barcode FB:814’, (2011) and ‘Tell it to the Trees’ at Croft Castle, Herefordshire (2009-10).

Recent awards made to the artist include Cardiff Metropolitan University Seed Funding (2015) to examine threatened crafts and HEFCW SIP funding (2011) to work with Waddesdon Manor.


She is currently working on a series of projects for Hestercombe House, Taunton.

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