Alan Phillips

currently in the stockroom

artist’s statement

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



Solo shows

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

Group Shows

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.

Acquisitions/Commissions/Permanent Collections

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.