Take a trip with artist Heather Phillipson

The multimedia artist’s Fourth Plinth may have been delayed, but fans can still trip out with this psychedelic monograph of work. By Baya Simons

Heather Phillipson’s The End, planned for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, 2020-2022
Heather Phillipson’s The End, planned for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, 2020-2022 | Image: © Heather Phillipson

Heather Phillipson’s much-anticipated new Fourth Plinth sculpture, a large swirl of whipped cream topped with a cherry, a fly and a drone with a camera set to transmit a live feed of the square to a dedicated website, has been put on ice. The British contemporary artist’s Trafalgar Square addition, due to be unveiled a fortnight ago, will only be revealed when “Londoners and visitors can properly enjoy it”, deputy mayor for culture and the creative industries Justine Simons announced.

Limited edition artwork for The White Review No 20, 2017
Limited edition artwork for The White Review No 20, 2017 | Image: © Heather Phillipson
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What was intended as an accompaniment to the plinth sculpture, a new monograph of Phillipson’s multimedia practice released by art-book publisher Prestel, has become a timely substitute. Thankfully for Phillipson fans, it’s packed full of newly commissioned essays, the artist’s own writing, previously unpublished photographs and working collages.

Mesocosmic Indoor Overture, 2019
Mesocosmic Indoor Overture, 2019 | Image: © Heather Phillipson
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Expect a trippy survey of Phillipson’s psychedelic videos, sculptures, installations, poetry and digital media, punctuated by writing that includes a sideways-on exploration of Phillipson from London-based writer and curator Charlie Fox, an analysis of Phillipson’s practice by writer and curator Laura McLean-Ferris and an essay on nature and technology by Chus Martínez, head of the Arts Institute at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Basel.

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