Maria Phillips returns to BAM for a solo exhibition following her award-winning work in BAM Biennial 2016: Metalmorphosis. The exhibition marks a new direction for Phillips’ practice. In contrast to her biennial work in metal, Hidden in Plain Sight presents work made from recycled materials, inspired by a five-month residency at Recology’s material recovery facility in Seattle.
Recycling has become a daily routine for many of us in modern Western societies, yet the origin and future of these materials is far more complex than we might realize. Once recycled, items begin a new journey, either as commodity material or waste destined for the landfill. Materials that can be given a new life are sorted, baled, and sold to the highest bidder.
What remains is contaminated material, or for a myriad of reasons, material unsuitable for processing—all of which will end up in the landfill.
As an Artist-in-Residence at Recology, Phillips intercepted items that would otherwise have gone to the landfill away from their inevitable future. The resulting works are reimagined and re-contextualized items whose next life draws our attention to their fate, sheer quantity, and initial purpose.
By focusing on single-use items and objects that have little or no repurposing value, Phillips questions their very necessity. These objects—paper cups, plastic liners, and a variety of packaging materials—surround us like a silent ticking bomb, quiet reminders of the excesses of consumer society and the urgent need for a global response to the ecological situation our societies face.
About the Artist
Maria Phillips is an artist and educator based in Seattle, Washington. Born in St. Louis, MO, Maria received her BA from Loyola University in New Orleans and her MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Art and Design New York, the Renwick Gallery - Smithsonian American Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Rotassa Foundation, and numerous private collections. Maria’s work has been published in the books The Art of Enameling, 1000 Rings and 500 Brooches, and The Penland Book of Jewelry in which she wrote a chapter on the process of Electroforming. In 2016, she was awarded the John and Joyce Price Award of Excellence from Bellevue Arts Museum and invited to return for a solo exhibition.
Exhibition Date: October 04, 2019 - February 02, 2020
Members, Children under age 6: Free
Teens (with Teen Tix): $5
Student/Seniors/Military (ID required): $12