I look at painting landscapes as a step in my journey from recording nature as a visual phenomena to nature as a symbol of experience.
Painting gives one the freedom to enter into places that may or may not exist- it becomes real when you make that place your own and this is where the narrative comes into it. When the ideas, the elements and the medium combine, the painting takes a life of its own. It moves from the present to form part of the construct of another place.
The genesis of my work is in the deserts of Central Australia and continues the tradition of the long gaze that has been with us since the first convicts stepped off the convict ships. Each view brings with it its own specific reference and I like to think that my work is a celebration of the dreams, stories and memories of the inhabitants.
After graduating in Industrial Design from RMIT, Alan worked for a consultant graphic design firm in Melbourne. Alan left Melbourne and moved to the Northern Territory where he worked as an art teacher in an Aboriginal College and as a publisher for the NT Department of Education.
In 2000 he took up painting full time and departed for Europe working in his studio in Umbria for a year.
Alan has lived in Beechworth for the past thirteen years and teaches drawing classes on a regular basis. He also conducts weekend retreats on landscape painting and drawing for beginning and experienced artists. He has since written and published two books, one on the WW1 battle at Fromelles and another, in conjunction with his wife, on their time living in Italy as a writer and artist.
Alan considerers himself primarily a landscape painter and has had a number of exhibitions of his desert landscapes from Central Australia. He has travelled widely and his posters and paintings can be seen on his website www.alanphillipsart.com
1989 Desert Paintings. Framed Gallery. Darwin. NT
1990 Spinifex and Sand. Emerald Hill Gallery, South Melbourne. Victoria
1991 New works. Studio 3 Darwin NT
1994 Desert Gouaches. Aries Art Gallery, Armidale, NSW
1999 Drawings. Nightcliff Gallery, Darwin. NT
2004 A Retrospective: Desert Paintings 1988-2002 Creators Artspace Wodonga. Victoria.
2005 A Studio in Umbria-Drawings from the Sketchbook, Italy. Beehive Artspace, Albury.
2006 Moving Pictures. Paintings from NE Victoria. Creators Artspace. Wodonga. Victoria
2009 Muse Gallery Milawa. Alan Phillips New Work- 2006-2008
2010 Muse Gallery Milawa. ‘A View from Above’ paintings after the fires.
2012 Muse Gallery Milawa. ‘Gentle Afternoons- New Works, 2012’
2013 Art Imitates Life. Photographs, Collages and Diary Entries. Wangaratta Art Gallery. Victoria
1977 Selected. International Hasselblad Masters Travelling Photography Exhibition.
1978 Selected work for Alice Prize. NT
1978 Acquired for the Caltex Collection, Alice Springs
1979 Joint show (4 Artists from Alice). The Residency, Alice Springs.
1980 Joint show (4 Artists from Alice). Museums Display gallery NT, Darwin
1980 Selected work Alice Prize. NT
1981 Selected work Alice Prize. NT
1983 Selected work Alice Prize. NT
1983 Museums and Art Galleries of the NT. Darwin
1983 Museums and Art Galleries of the NT. Alice Springs.
1985 Selected work Alice Prize. NT
1986 Commonwealth Bank, Darwin
1990 Amnesty International Show, Framed Gallery Darwin.
1992 Selected Brian Lambert Art Award. Katherine NT
1992 Selected NT Art Award. Alice Springs
1993 Selected for Mornington Peninsula Spring Festival of Drawing. Victoria
1993 Bougainvillea Art Festival, Sunstorm Gallery Darwin
1993 Entered Wynn Prize. NSW Art Gallery
1994 Selected work Alice Prize. NT
1994 Aries Art Book Project. Armidale NSW
1995 White Egret Gallery Darwin
1995 Members show ‘Snakes and Serpents’. 24 hour Art. Darwin
1995 Selected ‘Year of the Family’ exhibition, Parliament House Darwin
1998 Exhibited Human Rights Show. Parliament House Darwin
1998 St Stephan’s Art Exhibition Melbourne Victoria.
2011 Paintworks. Recent paintings by NE Artists. Wangaratta Art Gallery
2014 Alice Springs Craft Council group show.
1979 NT Art Award. Permanent Collection
1981 NT Art Award. Permanent Collection
1995 Triptych. Commissioned by RPScherer Holdings. Melbourne
2001 Araluen Permanent Collection, ‘Skin’ 2 works on show. Alice Springs
2004 Painting commissioned by the Australian Golf Union. For display at Moonah Links, Mornington Peninsula. Victoria.
1996 Works on permanent display at the NT Museums and Art Gallery
1997 Selected. Wodonga Hume Building Award.
2008 Judge — Culcairn Rotary Art Show
2009 Judge — Culcairn Rotary Art Show
2009 Commission. Strathewen Community- Bush Fire Painting.
2010-2013 Highly Commended. Wodonga Hume Building Award
Various commissions for institutions and private collectors.