Last night, fellow artists, tutors, friends and family gathered in the Dunedin School of Art Gallery to celebrate the completion of artist Philip Madill’s ‘Virtual Continuum’. As part of his Master of Fine Arts, Philip produced a portfolio of 16 untitled sketches, all of which were graphite on paper. His meticulous attention to detail is incredible and his portrayal of melancholy through shadows, desolate streets and the absence of faces is extremely effective. Many of his scenes are set in dystopian landscapes. Despite this, the androgynous figures in trenchcoats in ‘Untitled’ (3) are particularly captivating; are they even human? Philip’s reason for dressing his figures in 1940s/50s style was to convey “the idea of totalitarianism and cold war aesthetic”. His inspiration comes from the idea of mixed reality (between the virtual and the real), controlling societies and the end of the world. However, his fascinating works leave you feeling intrigued, rather than depressed, about the impending apocalypse that he subtly depicts.
Philip Madill’s ‘Virtual Continuum’