This piece is composed of acrylic paint and sand from London.
The collaboration of Marla Allison and Matt Phillips in the 'Duets' Exhibition at Lovetts Gallery offered the artists the opportunity to not only work together, but to incorporate in their work some of their shared experiences. Marla and Matt met during a fine art residency in Saudi Arabia in 2019. Ensconced in the middle of the Saudi desert as part of a sprawling, month-long camel festival with 45 other international artists, they found that despite their different backgrounds they shared surprising geographical and cultural connections.
Marla's landscape is of the Dunstanburg Castle located in Northern England, and includes the clay sent to her from Matt in the walls of the castle that carry the steps of history for her own patrilineal bloodline.
Marla's dreams of castles and ocean life, coming from the desert, are a reflective view to Matt’s inspired vision and childhood memories, as if seeing both sides of a looking glass. Here is “Phillips and Allison in Wonderland” with awe of each other’s homeland, collaboratively set in different points of the world but united together. What art can inspire are bridges and love of the human experience, which is what the goal of collaboration was between these two dynamic artists, thanks to luck and fate bringing them together in the Saudi Arabian desert. It proves when artists unite, magic happens.
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