IAAC Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora 2011   

Minna Philips
Minna Philips

Minna Philips



Traveling from one country/place to another increases the awareness of the differences in beliefs, traditions and values that shape cultures, politics and societies. This awareness comes frequently as a result of one of two things: inclusion, exclusion, or the confrontation between both. Exclusion could be due to differences in geographical location, race, culture, class, economic status or even differences in gestures and interests. On the other hand, inclusion often refers to a practice of acceptance, productivity and a sense of belonging. Many times it is possible to experience a place or an event from a paradoxical point of view, meaning from both an inclusive and exclusive perspective. When an event or place is witnessed from such perspective, it does not reveal answers or solutions, but becomes a source that opens up to multiple interpretations while facilitating the continuity of their actualization.

Through her works, Minna Philips explores this particular position that allows witnessing an object/event or place through a paradoxical point of view. Her drawings relate to a kind of imagery that frequently suggest paradoxical significations, for example, fire hydrants, sprinkler systems or manhole covers, that represent danger and safety at the same time. Such imagery is deconstructed in a way to distort perspectives and the drawings are arranged in a manner that is at the same time continuous and fragmented. The multiplicity of interpretations and a deconstructed reality is further exaggerated through a process where a particular installation in a particular place is made to adapt to a different location. For example, a project developed earlier on by the artist in Boston, Massachusetts was later deconstructed, re-integrated and further developed in Baltimore, Maryland and then adapted to Drawing Spaces in Lisbon, Portugal, leaving a trace of its open history and of its possibility for continuous expansion.

The photographs are printed on watercolor paper and images are layered with drawings in ink. Color and forms are used to map out ideas of open-ended continuity and adaptation. The process of drawing becomes paradoxical by identifying the limits of a concept and establishing identities, and at the same time by assisting in the transcendence of these limits to create infinite possibilities. The way drawing acts as an intermediary between other art forms as well the use of drawing not just as preliminary preparation but as something that has inexhaustible number of interpretations, qualifies it here as a tool to explore concepts that exist despite the fixation or lack of definite boundaries.


Minna Philips received her Master Degree in Fine Arts from Towson University, Maryland with a focus on Installation Art and has a Master Degree in Arts Administration from Boston University, Massachusetts. She completed a Post Baccalaureate Degree at the Maryland Institute College of Arts, Maryland, with a focus on Painting. Apart from her activity as an artist, she is currently the Director of Education at VisArts in Rockville, Maryland.

Selected exhibitions: Lines of Passage that correspond, converge and diverge (Drawing Spaces), Sink/Float and Surplus (AREA 405), The International Juried Competition (International Gallery), Structure (DCCA), Curator's Incubator (Maryland Art Place), Analogue (India Habitat Centre), Geometry in Suspension (Fluid Space) and Displaced organized by NeMe in Cyprus, Greece.

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