Phil Irish

size variable; oil on TerraSkin, pins, nails; 2017

Phil Irish
Elora, Ontario, Canada


I am a painter whose work has been energized by collage processes for more than a decade. I am primarily chopping apart and reassembling elements that I have painted myself, though increasingly the surrounding context (the gallery space or the surrounding landscape) has become a critical element of the work.

It is powerful to cut apart images that have been crafted with care. The works involve processes of care, skill, loss, sacrifice, and imaginative regeneration.

The largest collages function as installations, enveloping the viewer at an architectural scale. I have developed a visual language of intricately painted images that are spliced and flayed, hanging off the walls and ceiling. This energy of life, and violent re-ordering, reflects both the vitality and risk of our changing global culture. It provokes the awareness that we need to re-imagine and re-order how we live.


Phil Irish, an artist from Ontario, Canada, makes paintings that are both fierce and beautiful. His practice extends painting into realms of collage, installation, and lens-based practices.

His work has been shown at public museums, artist-run-centres, and commercial galleries across Canada. His work was featured at the Quebec City Biennial, and three times shortlisted for the Kingston Portrait Prize. He has developed new work during residencies at the Symposium in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec, The Banff Centre, and the Vermont Studio Center. His journey with the Arctic Circle Residency is shaping new directions in his work.

He holds degrees from York (MFA) and Guelph (BA) and is a full professor of art at Redeemer University in Ancaster, Ontario.


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oil on aluminum; 2017
Dynamite Quartz
oil on TerraSkin, crane; 2018
28″x38.5″; digital print; 2024
28″x35″; digital print; 2024