Phil Lavery



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In The Broken Places #47

In The Broken Places #46

In The Broken Places #8729

Transitional Space #7112 Photo / Pigment Baryta Print

Transitional Space #8975

A Consequence Of Light #9162


Drawn to geometry, proportion and light, I see abstraction as a way to explore the hidden stories of things and believe that beauty can be found anywhere – if you look close enough. The Japanese have a term Wabi Sabi that I like to think applies to my approach.

The In Praise Of Shadows and other transitional spaces series are interrogations of the interaction of natural light and shadow on the surfaces and geometric shapes found in interiors and in particular, the corridors, stairs and other between spaces of buildings where art is displayed, or made.

I suspect this obsession with liminal spaces goes back to when, as an architecture student in the 70’s, I realised that buildings could be conceived like a poem, a novel, or a piece of music, with a backstory, a narrative and a message. And so, became fascinated with entrances, seeing the linear process of entering a building as an opportunity to slowly reveal its story. Corridors and stairs then became places where this narrative could be further developed over time. Perhaps, it is these lost stories I am still searching for in my various transitional spaces projects.

In April 2016 I had a heart attack, which strangely, also affected my eyes, leaving me with a very reduced area of focus – a bit like looking at the world through a macro lens. It is this personal experience that is the subject of the In The Broken Places series where I search for beauty in those places, or things, that have played, or continue to play, a part in my treatment and recovery and found myself, yet again, exploring the liminal.


Phil is a visual artist living and working on the west coast of Scotland. Though he trained and practised as an architect for many years, he works across a wide range of mediums including animation, digital media installations and photography. He has exhibited widely, with over 30 exhibitions in the UK and Internationally and has work in many private collections.

He is a graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee and is an elected Professional Artist Member of the Society of Scottish Artists.