Phoebe Collings-James


During her time in residence in the University's Department of Materials, Phoebe Collings-James worked with Dr Elisa Mele to explore methods for achieving controlled material decay, as part of an ongoing interest in how artworks might evade 'capture' by the institutional gaze. These experiments also disrupted boundaries between subject and object, seeking to reclaim agency and resistance from the position of the objectified 'other'.

Phoebe Collings-James' practice is intentionally messy and sprawling, focusing on how we live with getting bodied. Extracting knowledge from the three islands of Jamaica, UK and Manhattan all and none of which she simultaneously calls home, she considers the journeying of the sea, pathways and opacity of routes as roots. Taking form primarily in sculpture, sound and drawing with a distinctly corporeal approach, she attempts to burden ubiquitous materials with a process of symbolic layering, all in order to explore emotional connections to the politics and erotics of violence, language and fear. Recent works have explored the object as subject, giving life and tension to ceramic forms. An ambitious new performance commision with Jamila Johnson-Small, Sounds for Survival at the Wysing Arts Centre in England, asks the question of what an anti-assimilationist practice might look and sound like in 2018. Exhibitions include Harlem Postcards, Studio Museum Harlem, ATROPHILIA, Company Gallery, New York, Relative Strength, Arcadia Missa, London, Blood on the Leaves Blood on the Roots, Preteen Gallery, Mexico City and Just Give Me A Minute, live at Palais de Tokyo, Paris.


Residency: Department of Materials

Artists Phoebe Collings-James, Richard Paul and Rachel Pimm undertake research in the University's Department of Materials. Read more


Materials Conversations: Phoebe Collings-James and Rebecca Bellantoni

Wed 13 March 2019

1pm - 2pm

Phoebe Collings-James discusses her research into decay, violence, control and embodiment with the artist Rebecca Bellantoni. Read more