The artist says that in thinking about her natural habits and movements throughout Miami, she repeatedly comes back to the piles of trash that she is drawn to; and she tends to find a lot of chairs. A few years ago, she collected the broken chairs she found, fixed them in various intuitive make-do ways, showed them together, and then returned them to the streets (if forever homes could not be found). The artist says that chairs are obvious stand-ins for people: they have legs, arms, backs. For this project she will paint “i am here” (estoy aqui / je suis ici) on a piece of cardboard and attach the cardboard to the chairs she finds on the streets. Phillips likes that this simple phrase can be interpreted in a variety of ways depending on how a person comes upon it. There is also an environmental component about how we easily and constantly overlook the amount of waste we create because it is so conveniently carted away for us, so that the impact of our consumption––and our role in making any change––is hard to fathom.
Kerry Phillips has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions including projects with Orlando Art Museum, Locust Projects, and the Miami Art Museum, among others. Phillips performed Sometimes your things (the great exchange) at Pulse Art Fair, Miami, in association with Girls’ Club Fort Lauderdale and Crush Letters at the Last Minute Performance Festival, Krakow, Poland. She was awarded the Orlando Museum of Art Florida Prize in Contemporary Art in 2018, the 2015 South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship for Visual & Media Artists, and a commissioned project with Vizcaya’s Lost Spaces & Stories of Vizcaya Contemporary Arts Program. She has received other grants for her art making from public and private organizations as well as residencies and shows in Ohio, Vermont, New York, North Carolina, Berlin, Krakow and France. Phillips lives and works in Miami.