Phiri learned to sculpt and mix different coloured clays by decorating the wall plastering of the huts where she lived and grew up. Phiri channels and repurposes these skills in her artwork today, choosing to work instead on canvas and with acrylic mediums. Her artwork focuses on life through positivity. Through her work she seeks to engage the viewer with stimulating colours and a whimsical joy that draws from the beauty of everyday life.
Her imaginary landscapes are triggered by an enduring fascination with textures, patterns and life forms in the natural world. Ambiguous, otherworldly themes suggestive of subterranean and underwater worlds, forests and biomorphic forms evoke curiosity and wonder.
The artist combines metal and stone forms, suggesting the frailty of human existence, or powerful monolithic shapes, tarnished by the patina of time, in an effort to indicate “visibly or invisibly” fragments of human existence.
Janno McLaughlin's exhibition of exquisite hand sewn paintings and works on paper, Walk the Walk, opened this evening: