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Multidisciplinary Artist, Writer

East London

Phillip Rhys Olney

Job Title: 





Inter-generational labour lies at the heart of my practice. Hailing from three generations of dockyard workers, I consult the aesthetics of working-class culture - viewing the traces of ancestral and contemporary labour as a repository for legacies, stories and culture. In doing so, I investigate the role of work amid the cultural contexts of class, education and social mobility, seeing employment and labour for a wage as meaningful artistic practice.

I use materials typically found in these locales of occupation or employment: scaffolding boards, stainless steel, paper and tarpaulin. In doing so, my multimedia practice interrogates the contemporary roles and relevance of sites of traditional working industries. These include more intimate, personal locales such as Southampton Dockyards alongside those more broadly across Britain, and ask to what degree do these spaces collude to form a typically ‘masculine’ national ‘British’ identity.

The first in my family to go to University, I graduated with First Class Honours (English Literature & Language BA), and a Distinction (Fine Art MA). I recently completed my Level 2 Diploma in Bench Joinery.

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