" Phil’s paintings are about colour. Or maybe I should say about experiencing colour, since you don’t just respond to his work with your head, but feel it in your whole being.
I remember how exhilarating it was to walk into an exhibition of Phil’s paintings for the first time. It still is. You may be drawn by a vibrant sweep of orange-red to a large canvas across the room, only to find new pleasures up close in the complex layering of paint and startling juxtapositions of form and scale. The serenity of a square may be breached by a vertiginous triangle; a slender line of an unlikely purple may hold all that orange in check: Phil’s understanding of colour is such that he pushes his work to astonishing and risky limits.
The paintings are vibrant and lyrical – and yet at the same time there’s an element of danger to them. As if at any moment the complex weave of colour, motif and scale might no longer hold.
What I didn’t know before living with one is how alive the paintings are. Fixed gallery lighting – or reproductions like these on the website – don’t reveal their full character. In early morning light, the one I’m living with is introspective and serene. As daylight intensifies so does the painting, until it’s as energising as clear sky on a winter’s day. When the light fades, the painting croons, shimmers and starts to dream. By moonlight, it’s a mystery of whisper and hint."