I paint, draw, write, play music and learn about how these things can support people to be together.

I work with the learning disability arts organisation Heart n Soul as their Associate Artist. I was a part of the Conditions Studio Programme in Croydon from 2018 - 2021. I was an artist-in residence within Tate’s Schools and Teachers department. I founded the not-for-profit organisation Constant Flux, wrote ‘D.I.Y. as Privilege: A Manifesto’  published through Rough Trade Books, and played in several punk bands.

    Please get in contact if you have any questions, ideas or collaborations you want to talk about.

    CV & statement

    I also sell direct from my studio, see a current list of available works.

    Helping Hands
    2022
    Oil and charcoal on linen, paper and wood
    57.5cm x 42.4cm

    ‘This is a painting of you, Jenny. Installed on the wall of your home at Sanford Housing Co-op. I remember sitting in your kitchen after work with you telling me about the Co-op and how you’re involved and what it’s like to live there. We watched a documentary made by the founder, John Hands, called “More than a place to live”. I was staying with you because at work we were helping install a house inside a gallery. Built by the young people we support and called ‘The House Of Do Your Own Thing’. I remember you saying John Hands never lived in Sanford, he walked away after it had been made so it could be whatever it needed to be, not what he thought it should be. I was thinking about all these things and more when I painted it, I hope you like it.’

    ‘Helping Hands’ installation at Sanford Vitrine, Deptford


    Drum Also Gathering


    Version of a gathering of musicians at 'The Drum Also' that took place over a couple of hours on Friday 9th July in the basement of the Whitgift Centre, Croydon.

    Musicians that attended - Ned Smith, Riccardo Trissino Dabire, Rosie Ridgway, Lindsay Corstorphine, Jessica Ashman, James Heath & Richard Phoenix.

    Featured as part of Marky Leckey’s NTS show  30.11.2021

    Full audio version above.

    Video excerpt below - 


    Fusing Time 
    2021
    Painted drumkit used in performance

    Just Dropped In’
    2021
    120cm x 125cm
    Oil on canvas and mdf




    Installed at the Conditions End of Year Show:
    Review in Art Monthly




    Zoomin'

    by Richard Phoenix and Robin Smith

    View project on SKELF



    Zoomin' is the first piece in a series of four exhibitions on the theme of 'Gesture' and exploring what this might mean in a virtual context. Each exhibition has been created specifically for Skelf, working with artists whose practice often relies upon a physical encounter, and reimagining their work immaterially to see what further possibilities are presented.

    "We have been meeting nearly every Friday from 11:00am until 12:30pm, starting on 10th Nov 2020. Connected over video calls, we catch-up, paint and draw alongside one another whilst listening to music, and then show each other what we have made that day.

    Working in a time of so many unknowns, it offered a gesture of support, solidarity and consistency; giving each other the time and space to create, share and dance. This is an attempt to condense a year’s worth of us working alongside one another.

    We now want to offer this same gesture to you - we invite you to watch these videos, play with the images, work alongside us and listen to music."

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    ‘RIDE’

    Installation & performance
    Oct 21st - Nov 21st 2021
    with Big Rat Studios



    Ride (2021)
    Dimensions variable
    Oil & charcoal on cut out and acrylic on drum stick.

    ---

    Ride - a eulogy (2021)

    Start writing, drawing ink from the pen and the words fail.

    Pick up charcoal and start to draw, dust for dust, the image of a hand comes out.

    Picking up, putting down. New beginnings and recent losses.

    We just lost Chris. He picked up the sticks a long time ago and my encounter with his playing led me into a new way of seeing the world. Led me into a different life, created a fork in the road and allowed me to find purpose.

    His playing, the way he played a simple beat - it’s the thing that got me - drew me in. The sway, the bounce, the shift and push - not many people are recognisable behind a a backbeat - creating the frame for others to fill in, to provide the song. The details. The songs can remain but the foundations will shift.

    Realising a shift within my own body, a burst eardrum causing me to halt and slow, put the sticks down. It created an ending, I had to let go.

    It can take time to celebrate the value of putting down and picking up something new, allowing space for things to unfold along an undefined line.

    The line that started with Chris eventually led to me to Alicia, and Jacqueline her mother. It is parents like her that should be in charge, support structures that elevate through and with love. She would hate me saying that as it was never meant to be about her.

    We just lost Jacqueline. Another beat stopped. I still don’t know how to process these things, I want to do it in the right way but I’m stopped by thoughts of perfection - needing to forget those thoughts and allow mistakes to become the right thing.

    To be led, to trust the voice.

    Alicia said on stage once, “From the stomach and the heart with passion”

    A letting go, lighting a candle. It’s not enough, it is enough, you want the rhythms to continue, the ghost notes will be heard in the background.

    ---
    Text read as part of performance on the 21st October 2021 at Hastings Bookshop