Film London announced today that Heather Phillipson has won its 2016 Film London Jarman Award, given annually to an artist working with film and video. Phillipson, who is based in London, has won £10,000 (about $12,400). Like her fellow nominees, she will also be commissioned to create a work for Channel 4’s “Random Acts” short-films program.
Phillipson considers her videos elusive ways of visually recreating the feeling of reading poetry. (She writes poetry in addition to producing visual art.) Often shown in the form of immersive environments, Phillipson’s fast-paced works combined the frantic aesthetic of the internet with the generic look of advertising and stock imagery. Her videos, which are currently on view in the basement of the New Museum in New York, also tend to include poodles.
Phillipson’s win is something of a surprise, given her stiff competition—Rachel Maclean, who will be representing Scotland in the upcoming Venice Biennale, and Sophia Al Maria, who recently had a critically acclaimed show at the Whitney Museum in New York, were among the nominees. Cécile B. Evans, Shona Illingworth, and Mikhail Karikis were also nominated.
In a statement, Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, praised Phillipson “for a body of work that is complex, anarchic, and deftly views global events through a very personal lens.” Her collages of images, sounds, and words, Wooton continued, boast a “sense of pacing and rhythm as you might expect from someone who is also a poet and musician.”