Heather Phillipson, or hp to her allies, is best at cooler temperatures - ideally underwater, where she can think more lucidly. In fact, more than anything, she just wants a moment to THINK. Sometimes, she thinks she would have been better off as a mountain goat. This makes even more sense when you know that she was, effectively, raised by border collies. If you know anything about border collies, you know that, once they start thinking about something, they find it hard to stop thinking about something. hp is not yet a total recluse but her tolerance for interruption, smalltalk, overlong meetings or bullshit - for which, after several years of life on this earth, she has developed a sensitive nose - is negligible. hp follows her nose almost everywhere it guides her, which has so far proved a good guiding principle. Yes, hp uses the pronouns she and hers but considers herself more mammal than female. She is for early mornings and near-constant movement and for justice and the weather and for the animals. She subsists almost entirely on broccoli and the belief that everything is connected. When encountering art, her own included, she would like to be baffled, beguiled, convulsed by laughter or tears or brain-collapse, or ideally all of the aforementioned, all at once, plus some reactions that have yet to be discovered.
image: RUPTURE NO 1: blowtorching the bitten peach, installation view at Tate Britain (Duveens commission, 2021. Photograph: Oliver Cowling.
Courtesy the artist.