Assessment Post

Artist Statement

J.Phillips has been using her current art practise to respond to the body and mind as a site that has been subjected to isolation and anxiety. Due to the mind being subjective, there has been a variety of exploration through mediums to determine the best to illustrate the themes concerned.

After testing multiple locations and subjects in photography, using the self in certain locations has made it possible to create an image that depicts the mental state of the artist. This series featuring underwater scenes shows a visual representation of feeling withdrawn from society, due to the aftermath of domestic abuse inflicted on her family. The feeling of mentally drowning is evident with the use of large scale print to submerge the viewer in the feelings that are displayed, with the aim of making parties who are responsible for creating anxiety to experience the feeling that they are drowning too.

Another way found to recreate the mind as a site is through the use of paint combined with text, this multi media piece portrays the relation between confusion and frustration, combined with the vulnerability of feeling concerned and worried for loved ones. The lucid lines drawn blindly with such a fluid medium show the lack of control felt by the artist, supported by text written through paranoia this piece ‘Power & Control’ is more of a statement than a painting.


  • The fresh start which begins with the destruction of innocence. The photo of me and my brother looking all sweet as children contrasted to the grown up version of me. I think this may have been the start of me exploring what changes in life when you mature into a young adult, which ended up becoming more personal than I first thought after events out of my control.

  • Realising that I can respond to my body as a site thanks to my last assessment with Davida. At first I thought these photos were all about female empowerment, expressing how a female body can be just as powerful and strong as a male body, but I then came to realise that these were actually about me feeling strong, that day was a good day mentally. I only realised this after taking a video of me on a day where I was completely the opposite, it was just after my operation, I had no one to talk to and I was house bound for weeks, I was really low.

  • Decided to take more bath related photos but this time with my go pro so that I could actually take photos underwater. It wasn’t until analysing how I was responding to spaces that I realised what these were really about, isolation.

  • This is when a lot of shit started happening for my family, which was kind of a turning point where my painting is concerned. To summarise what was going on my father, Jason, has been emotionally manipulating and abusing my mother for years, including me and my brother (he pretty much bullied my brother while he was a child).But finally after years of putting up with it, jason pushed my mum to far, threatening to burn our house down, I managed to encourage her to make a statement with the police and get him arrested. While he was on bail our house was alarmed and we are having constant police checkups, which is good, anyway, a self help leaflet really pushed me over the edge and inspired me to create this piece, through frustration and paranoia.

  • This post completely explains the thought process behind my two final works.



Female empowerment –

Water related, inspiration for my photographs –

Painting inspiration –


Henri Matisse

Blue Nude



I remember being in school studying art and my teacher having this as a poster on the wall. I always remember thinking ‘god that’s so shit’. And do you know why I thought that? Because in school we are conditioned into drawing still lives over and over and being made to believe that the more realistic they were the better grade you would have. Therefore I’d be confused as to why this was on her wall while I would get a C- for my ellipse on my still life of a fanta can not being perfect enough, oh the irony. Looking back I was so naive, especially considering the nude drawings I create now. This is why I am so grateful thatI was persuaded into going to a foundation course, because as soon as you leave school, art will never be the same, it will always be 100 times better.

I might get this as a tattoo, to remember how far I have come since school.


So, my mam’ boyfriend’s son saw one of my paintings today (the one I want to exhibit), he’s roughly 14 yo and he said that my painting reminded him of Picasso’s work. First of all Was surprised that he knew who Picasso was, considering he has no interest in art, secondly, I felt so honoured that someone so young made a connection with my work when it’s of a mature content (abuse and depression).



Just looking at some of his paintings I can recognise that they are always warped and the expressions are always rather gloomy. Maybe the distortion is inspired by similar reasons to why my photos are full of reflections and are displayed upside down, because reality is a bit ‘off’. The use of his bold colours does compare to my painting but his nude paintings have easier to distinguish nude figures within them.

When I see him next I shall ask him what made him think of Picasso.



My first field project ended up having more of an impact on my work than I realised. ‘Home truths’ was all about story telling onto domestic objects made through ceramics, this is the only field project where I have actually learnt a new skill, I knew nothing about ceramics when I signed up, yet I left with a large amount of knowledge and learnt how to press mould plates and bowls. Whilst making and decorating our ceramics I took a very raw and personal approach to my story telling, using text and quotes from family life, some negative, and then contrasting the negativity with pretty colours and patterns as a back drop, all signed by my pet name ‘Frank’. Without realising it I had created the opposite to everyone else who were celebrating family life, I promoted the sheer fragility of it, complimented by cracks in my ceramics and the harsh reality of harsh words spoken by people who were supposed to love you. Don’t get me wrong, I did create some that were positive towards my mum and brother with inside jokes and quotes to show the unity between us three, but I think the ones that portrayed the fucked up side of family life have more of an impact, no family is perfect and sometimes people do need help.

My second field project ‘Art and the conscious mind’ was less creative and more knowledgable, full of intense lectures that had a ‘blow your mind’ kind of vibe to them. They were never boring and always packed with amazing facts, ideas and theories that did inspire me, but the inspiration was more thought provoking than art provoking. Due to us having to make a presentation at the end I found myself thinking more about ideas than actually making work, and every time I started making work, a new idea would inspire something else and I would move on to keep up. Realistically I should have only allowed myself to follow one idea instead of all of them, maybe I would have made something more final from it. One thing I did take from it was how to read artwork, taking the smaller details and making something more significant from them, I learnt that deconstructing a painting or artwork can sometimes help to make sense of it. I’ve ended up deconstructing my own artwork after making it and realising concepts that I had created without even realising, especially art work made in two contrasting states of minds.


Been talking to a friend today who is in a similar mental state to myself, and we are both questioning what we did to feel like this. I don’t understand how life went from being so great to so ‘un great’ and I’m wondering when it gets better. For me I think it’s hard when there are so many things making life uneasy. Why do I always find myself sitting on this step smoking a fag and being so alone? Maybe things will get better after the court date, but I have a feeling it will only get worse. I ran away from Cardiff today, it’s the easiest thing for me to do, run home so I can lay on the sofa and be a slob all day. I should be stressed about uni but I’m not, I hope that I can make 3rd year better for myself. 

Talking to my friend, I tell him that we can do this, we will be fine and that WE ARE AMAZING, because we are. In a couple of years this will just be a time I look back on and thing ‘dam girl you fucking did it’. 

Responding To A Space

While I was snoozing this morning I thought about what space my work is actually responding too, I actually came to realise my concept and now I’m trying to remember it in the right words which easily explains everything, but it keeps swimming in and out of my head and it’s really hard to reach right now.

I think I will have two kind of components to my assessment/exhibition.

Responding to a space that visually represents my ‘anxiety’

I write ‘anxiety’ because I really hate to admit that I have it because everyone seems to have it these days, and I hate to admit that my dad kind of forced it upon me because I always act like I don’t give a fuck about what he did to me mentally. (shrug it off, shrug it off)

Version 2

Anyway, I feel like this visually represents how I’ve felt throughout second year with so much going on, I honestly can say that I have felt like I’m drowning. But it’s a peaceful drowning, I’ve just let it slowly overcome me to the point where I’ve done no work for weeks on end, I’m laughing that my exhibition is soon and I’m just wandering around in my own little world not really caring anymore. The fact that it is upside down kind of shows how reality has been feeling murky for a while now. I’ve split up with my boyfriend? Ok, cool. I’ve done no work? Brilliant. I haven’t many friends? What’s new. Why don’t I care? Maybe it’s been too much and I have just lost the will to have a reaction anymore. I feel like I’ve turned blunt and cold, but it’s about bloody time, I’m fed up of being walked over. My mums got so much shit going on that she lays it all on me sometimes, yesterday I had enough, I told her straight, I didn’t even shout at her, just calmly but firmly told her. THAT IS NOT ME, I normally take one for the team and let her rain a shit storm on me, but I didn’t? I’ve drowned and now I’m floating in the water feeling calm but maybe not collected. But it’s ok, I think I’m ok.

Responding to the inside of my head as a space


Get a better photo of my painting 

This one is a lot more visibly personal, people are probably going to read the text and respond with questions about what the fuck is going on. I really wasn’t going to exhibit it but then my mum accidentally saw it. I felt bad about being inspired by her turmoil but she surprised me by really liking it. I asked her if she read the text and she did, so I was even more surprised when she supported it and gave me help with how to expand on it and make more work around it. After a lot of stuff happening in the lead up to the court date, where my mum and brother will testify against jason, I just felt constantly shocked to the lengths that the police and other legal services are going through in order to protect us. I had a lot of questions about that and I read a lot of statements from leaflets that just gobsmacked me. So while I was in the house alone and feeling constantly on edge about it all I felt the only way I could work through it was by painting and writing so that canvas started being filled and it just kind of happened.

Making Mullah

I’ve started making my bags more seriously now, and adding tees into the mix, I just need the money. But I also love spreading nudes so it’s all good.


Tee and my painting. This started off as me messing around because I wanted nude statement tees, so I bought some from primark to paint on. Now people kind of want to buy them so fuck it, may as well invest in some quality materials and I can make a hobby out of it over the summer and sell with my tote bags. It’s all about getting my work out there, and to do it with snazzy tee shirts seems fun.



It’s funny that after posting this I had a lot of requests off people for me to make them one. I wonder if people realise they’re going to be walking around with my own nude on their back. It’s so cool though.



Below is a custom design that someone has asked for, they’re actually so fun to do so I’m really excited about making a proper thing out of this.



I’m all about the nude.