Heather Phillipson


8 minutes 32 seconds

Acknowledging the seismic global changes of the past few months, Heather Phillipson was commissioned by Art on the Underground to produce a new online work to accompany her Fourth Plinth commission, THE END. A counterpoint in tone to THE END, Phillipson’s new audio-collage, VOLTA, reckons with upheaval, renewal and possibility. Written and composed by Phillipson, it combines her distinctive layering of voice, sound effects and music samples to destabilise and relocate.

Phillipson’s singular, visceral audio works connect an abundance of noises, words and images, generating multiple possible directions. Her frenzied musings bend speech to tempo and logic to rhythm, disrupting perceptions and assumptions.

A new monograph of work by Heather Phillipson was published to coincide with the unveiling of the plinth, covering significant exhibitions, public commissions and a selection of Phillipson’s own writing from the last decade. It was co-published in July 2020 by Prestel Publishing Limited and Art on the Underground and in partnership with the GLA and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. Available to buy here.


Heather Phillipson works across video, sculpture, web projects, music, drawing and poetry. She was selected as the artist for the Fourth Plinth 2020 commission, THE END which launched in Trafalgar Square in July 2020. Phillipson was also selected for the Tate Britain Commission, taking over the central Duveens Galleries  in March 2021. Her recent solo projects include new commissions for BBC Radio 3 (2020), Sharjah Biennial 14 and the Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (both 2019), Art on the Underground’s flagship site at Gloucester Road, an online work for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and a major solo show at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (all in 2018). Phillipson received the Film London Jarman Award in 2016, the European Short Film Festival selection from the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2018 and is also an award-winning poet.


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Heather Phillipson, 'VOLTA', 2020 Music & Sound Credits

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