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Holly Hendry: Phyllis

In partnership with Selfridges, London

15 May–30 Sep 2018

‘Phyllis is an important and original work of sculpture that intelligently references its context and the layers of human activity that Selfridges is built upon.’

Helen Pheby, Head of Curatorial Programme, YSP

Selfridges and Yorkshire Sculpture Park are co-curating The Art Block, a new permanent destination for contemporary sculpture within Selfridges – a first in Selfridges’ history.

The Art Block will present a series of six-month long residencies, showing newly commissioned artworks in captivating and unexpected ways, which will be curated by Selfridges in partnership with Helen Pheby, Head of Curatorial Programme at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The first residency, from May to the end of September, by London-based British artist Holly Hendry, exhibited a new site-specific sculpture titled PhyllisPhyllis stands at nearly 4-metres tall and features rubble created by the construction of the new Accessories Hall, along with silicone, gum, soap, ash, grit, lipstick pigment, aluminium, steel, jesmonite and marble. Phyllis is a construction of parts, like an enormous puzzle that absorbs The Art Block. The artist used materials that relate to products from our current environment that are accumulating in the world, referencing issues of waste and recycling.

Phyllis takes its name from one of the digging machines used in the London Crossrail dig, which is one of the UK’s most extensive archaeological undertakings. Phyllis was used to excavate a four-mile tunnel from Royal Oak Portal in West London to Farringdon via Bond Street. After completing her dig, it was decided that Phyllis was too big and heavy to be completely extracted from the tunnels, so having in effect dug her own grave, parts of Phyllis were left buried near Farringdon, providing material for future generations of archaeologists.


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