In James Bay’s Hold Back the River, the singer lightly strums his guitar as life becomes a river and the tide that flows within. Can the river be held back even just for a moment? Contemplating on Anna Katherine Phipps’s work, the answer appears not likely. Nature does what it wants when it pleases, and this law of nature is reflected in the aquatic media employed in the artist’s two dimensional works.
Quietly oscillating and faintly rippling, the delicate earthly colors spread their way through the porous surface of the substrate. The resulting visual motifs convey a sense of slow, natural dancing rhythm. Rather than attempting to control the will and whim of her chosen materials, Phipps seems to simply stand by, as to let the flow create a natural reservoir on her two dimensional surface.
One can almost imagine Phipps dancing alongside the shores of these newly formed lakes. In her work, the push is letting go and pull is exerting control. This tension is essential to Phipps’ visual choreography.www.annakatherinephipps.com
Top image: First Blush of Morning. All images courtesy of artist.