Philip Eglin studied at Staffordshire Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art, London. He was winner of the prestigious Jerwood Prize for Applied Arts in 1996. The Scottish Gallery has exhibited Eglin’s work since the 1980’s. His post-modern aesthetic draws on many sources from popular culture and ceramic history through to high art and from Gothic Madonnas to Abstract Expressionist painters of the 1950s. Frequent use of graffiti elements carry playful references to street culture and his sculptures often incorporate pieces moulded from everyday objects such as coke bottles or throw-away plastic. He works in both the figurative and the abstract, using his forms as a canvas or vehicle for whatever narrative he is exploring. He also creates garnitures or installations of both small scale and larger works.
‘I see myself as continuing a strong ceramic tradition of borrowing ideas, for both form and surface, from examples found in other media. I enjoy being flippant and subversive, making fusions of seemingly disparate historical and contemporary subjects in an attempt to achieve a balance between the high and the lowbrow, the reverent and the irreverent, the sophisticated and the crude.’ – Philip Eglin
His fourth solo show at The Scottish Gallery in August 2009, Popes, Pin ups and Pooches, presented the full, dynamic range of artistic and expressive skill which flows from Eglin’s rich, eclectic and symbolic palette; the familiar iconography of Madonnas and Christs, popes, pin-ups, dogs and of course football. Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art acquired a major piece for their collection from this exhibition.
Public collections include:
Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Potteries Museum, Stoke-on-Trent; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA; Mint Museum, North Carolina, USA
Philip Eglin was the subject of solo exhibitions Strange Bedfellows, in October 2021 and Unfinished Business in August 2017 that formed part of our Festival exhibition programme.