Artists in Residence

Gareth Phillips - Photographic Artist

May -June 2023. 

Vernissage - Friday June 16th, 2023 

It is an absolute joy for me that Gareth Phillips was the first artist to get in touch and ask, 'When can I come?' and a total surprise when he explained that he wanted to make new work, rather than enjoy a simple retreat.  

I first came across Gareth in 2008 when applying for my place at Newport (in fact, aside from Pete Davies who interviewed me, Gareth was the very first documentary photographer that I ever met!)  It was degree show time and I was immediately transfixed by the beauty and power of one body of work, which turned out to be Gareth's.  Incredibly, he was on duty that morning and was the only student to speak to... He turned out to be an utterly lovely person and we have remained in sporadic touch ever since.  When able to get to one of his shows, or to support him in other ways, I have done so and he has been a real encourager of The Little Barn Project.

Gareth is becoming well known for exploring contemporary definitions of the photobook. He makes striking images and then experiments with them as objects, sculptures and installations.  It is VERY exciting that he has chosen The Little Barn for his next project.  Following the research stage, it will be awesome if he creates a piece for the barn, but if he doesn't then this is not important to me.  What I most want is for him to have time and space to be creative. If there is a tangible result, great. If not, no problem.

From the gentle public introduction during the degree show hang on the Caerleon campus, Gareth has gone on to become an established international contemporary artist, with an impressive list of exhibitions and awards to his name. He is currently a finalist for the 2023 Aesthetica Art Prize and won the RAKFAF Festival Award for Sculpture. I still can't quite believe that he wanted to be The Little Barn's first Artist in Residence, but it definitely feels as the though the universe turned in my personal favour on that day back in the early summer of 2008 and now, fifteen years later.  

Gareth kindly left some work in The Little Barn for visitors to enjoy. Please get in touch if you are interested in coming over for a few hours to drink tea, coffee or wine and spend time with his work and my photobook collection - you would be most welcome.

To find out more about Gareth, please visit his website, or follow him on Instagram:

Thank you to Gareth for providing me with the photographs for this post.