Gareth Phillips

Ligatures of Ivy

Ligatures of Ivy is an ongoing body of work exploring mental health and loneliness. Originally conceived as a photobook, this project began as a collaboration between Gareth Phillips and his father to explore the emotions of regret and helplessness that followed the collapse of the latter’s business in post-industrial 1980s Britain. Unable to fulfil the role of financial provider and protector of his family, the father slowly retreated into himself during his period of unemployment. For thirty years, fear of failure and the guilt of patriarchal inaction were manifested as clinical depression. Recently, Phillips’s father was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, which led to an outpouring of repressed emotions and a mental breakdown. The artist’s initial approach evolved into over thirty photobook maquettes depicting his father’s daily domestic routines, including experimental montages and collages symbolising the surrounding natural environment. The maquette experimentation offered a way to deepen the visual experience and add the nuances of a broader social and economic context. Through this new and progressive photobook installation, Phillips invites the viewer to reflect on the experience of loneliness and the social pressures of masculinity. The book installation pushes the boundaries of the photobook by allowing the viewer to delve into its pages, creating an overwhelming and intimate reflection on the contemporary condition. As the work is constantly evolving, this installation adds a new chapter, a new book, to the project.

Gareth Phillips is a photographer who works mainly in photobooks, maquettes, and installations. His practice challenges contemporary definitions of the photobook, considering photobooks as objects, sculptures, and installations. He exhibits frequently and has received a variety of awards. Based in Wales, UK, he is currently a participant in the Reflexions Masterclass.

Horikawa Oike Gallery

238-1, Oshiaburanokoji-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, 604-0052

Subway Tozai Line "Nijojo-mae" station. 3 min on foot from exit 2

Open: 4/15-5/14 11:00-18:30
Closed: Mon.

11:00 - 18:30