Phyllis Chillingworth’s ‘Cosmos... A Personal Journey’ Is Coming to Atlantic Gallery
Abstract painter Phyllis Chillingworth's newest collection, known as “Cosmos...a personal journey,” is coming to Atlantic Gallery in Chelsea on March 30. This is the artist’s fifth solo exhibition at Atlantic Gallery. Her work is currently being shown in the gallery’s group exhibition. The exhibition, which includes paintings created with oil, watercolor and egg tempera, exemplifies the freedom of life and the artists personal perceptions and moods. “Cosmos” is a compilation of memories, sights, and experiences elicited over a period of time. It is also a metaphor for life’s wonders. While each painting in the collection may vary in subject, together they represent one unified vision, one journey.
“Cosmos” tells a story derived from life’s most subtle yet impactful moments. It is an experience that will make you nourish your senses. As she craves the sand, the sea and the sunshine, Phyllis currently resides in Montauk, where she finds insight in the open land and air, as well as Manhattan.
For Phyllis, the name Cosmos has an intimate connection being that it is the name of a cottage in Cape Cod that she has a deep love for. In fact, the title painting known as Cosmos, portrays that very cottage along the Cape Cod shore. The name also comes from the ancient greek word Kosmos which implies a more holistic view of the universe, just as each of the paintings featured in the collection do.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired so long as we can see far enough.” This quote has provided inspiration for a number of the paintings in “Cosmos.” Much of the work was additionally inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke and Marcel Proust, who said “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
Being that Phyllis is often inspired by the things she has seen and the moments she has lived, some of the paintings interpret photographs and other momentos she holds dearly. One of her most detailed paintings, known as Arrival, which is painted with egg tempera, replicates a photograph of her mother, brother and her taken by her father in Cape Cod when she was a young girl.
“The early times spent up on the Cape still inspire and inform my attitudes to life as well as to the practice of painting. I believe if you get the love of sand and sea in your blood early it can continue to have a profound influence. It has for me. The unique medium of egg tempera enabled me to paint a symbolic, a kind of surreal, modern memory of that experience,” she said.
Despite much of her creations stemming from moments of her own life, Phyllis is not a realist painter. She often utilizes symbolism, much of which is cultivated in nature. Phyllis sees the details and colors in all things, even the ones that the naked eye lacks the capability to capture. She often incorporates brighter colors and experiments with light and aesthetics. Her calculated use of color creates an energizing sensation within us.