Approved: 16.08.2006

Phil Toy

Artist, Researcher

Approved: 16.08.2006

I an currently working on, 'Cacophony & Category". 

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  • Location: Bristol, South West
  • Activities: Practice-based research, Training delivery, Private commissions, Events management, Fundraising
  • Categories: Film & Video, Installation, Painting, Photography, Sculpture
  • Tags: Spike Island, MA Stars, Southwest UK


I an currently working on, 'Cacophony & Category". 

Concepts, ideas, themes: The background to my work is an interest in the relationship between beliefs and science, rationality/irrationality, the juxtaposition of order/disorder. How we categorise our world. Categorization, fragmentation against an interplay between 2 and 3 dimensions are key concepts. We each have to negotiate our own sense of being created by categories (structure) and a fragmented world of endless networks and gaps.

Recent work has seen a move away from working with photographic images taken by me and worked with oil paint and developed into montages. My practice creates what I call, 'displacements'. I use the word. 'punctuations' also in this context. A number of narratives may be suggested in the mind of the viewer by these works. Previously, I have researched the work of John Cage and his use of chance in composing, (see Chance Glass, 2011). Schoenberg is a strong influence. This interest in music is presenting in my work as musical scores, composed by me, exhibited as part of painting and/or with three-demensional elements.

Processes and techniques: I attempt to use methods and materials in relation to my purpose, theme or the site-relatedness of the project. I have experience of a very wide range of materials being familiar with acrylic and oil paint, resins, waxes, plasters, canvas and fabrics in addition to lighting, film and photography. I have also used perspex vitrines as a means of displaying work. My work is research-based, finding its direction from experimentation.

CV & Education

Qualifications and training:

2005 - MA, University of West of England, Bristol 1982 - BA Fine Art, Polytechnic (UWE), Bristol

Group Exhibitions: Upcoming May 2016 - Fringe Art Bath, 2 group exhibitions, Austerity & Out of the Archive. 27 May to June 12 2016.

Slider - Group exhibtion of slides celebrating Artspace 40 - 29 April to 29 June 2016.

Pop up Cinema, (showing 2 short films) Spike Island, 29 April to 03 May 2016.

Solo exhibitions:  2016 - Open Studio:  2015 - Open Studio, Spike Island, Bristol: Solo Open Studio, Spacex Studios, Exeter, 2013; Live/Performance 2011 - On Silence: Homage to John Cage, Concorde Institute, London 2011; ABLE, Sangdee Gallery, Cheung Mai Thailand 2011; SideBySide, Bath Arts Studio Gallery, Bath, 2009; 3 Interventions, Spike Island Open Studios: 2008 - Roubles and Camels, Galerie Weisser Elefan, 21 Augustrasse, Mitte, Berlin 2007; ArtAffair, Sept 2005 - Things Beginning with 'B'; Hotbath gallery, Bath, 2006; Faust Kunsthalle, Hanover, Germany 2005 - Roadside Picnic, August 2005, Ihme Centrum, public art event, Hanover; 2004 - Jan-Apr, 'Bad Quality', Travelling exhibition, Millais Gallery, Southampton, UK 2004; Oct- Nov, 'Love, Warmth & Waterlillies', Mile End Arts Pavilion, London UK 2003; Dec. 'Awning', multiples show, Awning, Bristol 2003; Nov-Dec. 'Pulped', Thelma Hubert Gallery, Honiton UK 2004; 2002 - Cathedrals & Chemicals, Falmouth Art College, Falmouth, UK 2002 - Falmouth College of Arts 2002; 'False impressions?', University of Colchester, Colchester 2002; Stepping Stones, Mafuji Gallery, London 2001 ; Block 16, Hanover, Germany 2001 - 'Evolution'; Standpoint Gallery, London 2001; Gene Pool, Block 16 Gallery, Hanover Germany 2001; Standpoint Gallery, London 2000; Axiom Gallery, Cheltenham 2000 - 'State of the Art', Axion Centre for the Arts, Cheltenham, UK 1999; 'Aswas', Sherborne School, Sherborne, UK 2002 - Holt Gallery, Sherborne School, Dorset 1999 - 'Love, Religion & Explosives', Church Gallery, Norwich UK 1999 - Love, religion and explosives, St Margaret's, Norwich 1998 - Bag, Bristol 1997 - Rathaushalle, Hannover, Germany 1996 - Spitalfields Festival, London 1995 - Rising Tides, Bristol 1994 - De Villa Gallery, Netherlands 1994 - Ernst and Young;1997 - Residency, Offices of BH, Tuzla, Bosnia 1994 - Residency exchange, De Villa Gallery, Enchede, Netherlands Projects 2011 - Evolve, Thane Works, London 2006 - Virtual Spaces of Migration, Sept 2007, Bristol Hannover Posnan 2005 - Picnic am wegesrand, kunstsymposium, Ihme zentrum, Hannover.

Worked with Axis as MA Stars Selector: 2007-2010.

Competitions, prizes and awards: 2016 - Grant award Spike Island, Slider exhibition; 2006 - Research & professional development award, Arts Council of England, UK & Berlin; 2001 - International Film and Video festival award, Canada, Campbell River 2001 - Travel/Research award, South West Arts, England, Bristol 1997 - Bristol City & Kulturampt, Hanover exhibition award, City councils, Bristol/Hanover 1997 - Travel and exhibtion award, British Council & London office of Bosnia-Herzogovina, London/Tuzla.