REVIEW: True To Size – Heather Phillipson

‘True to Size’ – Heather Phillipson.

A Review from Sullivan the Poet


Remarkable… Stimulating and enigmatic! Heather Phillipson’s installation is, as I came to understand it from my experiences amongst its constructs as a poet myself, a poem – or perhaps more a succession of poems – on the nature and current state of the modern psyche and its internalised view of itself and the world around it. The state of constant flux both within and between the two entities and their interminably changing relationship to each other. There. My opinion. Such is the overt complexity and boldly labyrinthine intricacy of this extraordinary work however; I have little or no doubt its next reviewer will see something entirely different at find themselves comprehensively at odds with every word I have just written. Such is the subtly chameleonic nature of this extraordinary creation… And in that is indubitably its conundrum.


Yet it captures the essence of change with the clarity and incision of an eye surgeon’s first stroke with the scalpel… Follow the installation through its numbered phases and absorb, immerse and engage with its subliminal messages; the thoughtful and precisely wrought video and the almost breathless delivery of the words and auto suggestions.


Stand silent in the centre of components 5, 6 and 7… And give yourself up to being overwhelmed by the messages that climb and scramble and clamour over each other for your attention and the audio visual assaults that crash down on you like a sensory tsunami before you try and make sense of it all. I did just that…

Then, as I did, go back to the beginning and start again. Discover for yourself a whole new installation; flexing and posturing as it moulds and melds itself, even through the continuity of mood and motif, into a new and undiscovered artwork. With a hitherto undiscovered plethora of fresh aural metaphors and visual similes to tease both the intellect and the senses… Its schizophrenic character and its multiplicity of perverse and gleefully unrepentant personalities.


I have deliberately resisted the temptation to attempt to define this singular work in every detail – for the experience of it will inevitably be as individual to each viewer as their own fingerprint. Therein, I believe, are its motives and its being – Its philosophy and its ‘raison d’ être



TRUE TO SIZE will be available to view in the Plymouth Arts Centre gallery until September 30th


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