Key facts about the artist

A lot of things put together (detail)
A lot of things put together (detail), 2013

Lectures in painting and printmaking at the Glasgow School of Art
The artist collective 'Poster Club'
Ottawa, Canada
Turner Prize Nominee 2014
Kingston, Canada, and Glasgow


Video: Art in Scotland TV - Julie-Ann Delaney on GENERATION at Modern One

Video: Ciara Phillips - Pecha Kucha at Tramway, 2010

Ciara Philips showed a selection of archival imagery. Covering a broad range of subjects including food, commerce, medicine, information systems and education, she provided the audience with a brief account of each image and/or item. 

About Ciara's work

Ciara Phillips works mainly in printmaking and her approach is expansive and experimental. Her interest lies in both the physical processes involved in printing and the capacity to explore, test and develop ideas through it. Printing requires time, space and sometimes collaboration with others, which for Phillips, distinguishes it from the directness of drawing an image straight onto a page. Printing has also been linked with political and social activism – a tool to call for action. Phillips brings all these connections into play in her art, whether she is working alone or with others.

Phillips uses screen-printing in which ink is pulled over and pushed through mesh in order to transfer an image onto paper or fabric. She exploits the opportunities offered by this method, layering colour with images and working on both small and large scales. A Lot Of Things Put Together (2013) is a large hanging piece made of five overlapping sheets of printed cotton. Abstract symbols and blocks of colour are combined with black-and-white photographs of figures. This artwork provided a starting point for an extensive work on paper, Things Put Together (2013). In both of these, Phillips uses repetition to produce visual echoes across the fabric or paper. The rhythmic aspect of these compositions is playful, but it also acts to co-ordinate the individual images into a whole, new statement. The titles of the works are drawn from the educator and activist Sister Corita Kent (19181986), an American artist whose use of art as an instrument for education and inspiration has been important to Phillips. The idea of ‘things put together’ not only points to the artist’s enjoyment of collage, but is a more general comment about making art. 

Phillips has also developed her thinking through projects dealing with collective making. Her Workshop (2010–ongoing), held at The Showroom, London in 2013, created a studio within the gallery where she made prints every day, often working experimentally with community groups and other artists and designers. Phillips’s project transformed the gallery into a place for investigation, social action, discussion and debate.


Ciara Phillips (born 1976 in Ottawa, Canada) has a BA in Fine Art from Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada and an MA from The Glasgow School of Art (2004). Solo exhibitions have been staged at The Showroom, London (2013); Inverleith House, Edinburgh (2013); Atelier am Eck, Düsseldorf (2010); and Washington Garcia Gallery, Glasgow (2009). Group exhibitions include: There Will Be New Rules Next Week, Dundee Contemporary Arts (2013); Pull Everything Out (with Corita Kent), Spike Island, Bristol (2012); Who Decides?, Stadtgalerie Mannheim (2012); Zwishenraum: Space Between, Kunstverein Hamburg (2010). Phillips is the founder of the artist collective Poster Club and a lecturer in painting and printmaking at The Glasgow School of Art. She has been nominated for the 2014 Turner Prize. She lives and works in Glasgow.

More information

Oliver Basciano, ‘Ciara Phillips’, in Function/Dysfunction: Contemporary Art from Glasgow, Neues Museum, Nürnberg, 2013

Gabrielle Schaad, Review of Start with a practical idea, Frieze d/e, issue 6, Autumn 2012

Elsewhere on the web