‘Magical thinking’ could not be bettered as a word-window into the art of Philippa Robbins. Her themes are magical, often found in folklore, fairytales or the manifestations of the strange around us, but just as magical is her transubstantiation of thoughts into haunting visual images – her translation of woven baskets into a drawn language as intricate and ordered as the baskets themselves, her conjuring of pieces of lace or coral as reliquaries of past life, or her invention of a scene so impossibly familiar that one wonders if it has rekindled a spark of lost memory.

Philippa was born in London in 1964 and moved with her parents to south Wales aged sixteen. After studying modern languages she experimented with drawing and photography while bringing up her two daughters in London, Singapore and finally Penarth. In her mid thirties she took a BA in fine art at Cardiff. Her work has achieved recognition rapidly, winning prizes in the Discerning Eye and the Royal West of England Academy and being shown in the Hunting Art Prize, the BP Portrait Award and exhibitions at the Royal Academy, the Museum of Modern Art Wales, the National Portrait Gallery and Beaux Arts in Bath. In presenting her first solo show, the Art Shop is allowing us to see the visionary clarity of an artist who is fast becoming one of Wales’ most distinctive.

Dr Peter Wakelin 2013 – writer, curator and art critic

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