Before the opening of “Sublime Encounters: Science and Art Collide” I had the pleasure of interviewing Becky Phillips in detail about her work. From the moment we sat down, her eyes were alight with enthusiasm, leaving no doubt in my mind that as an artist, Becky is absolutely in love what she does. The conversation opened with general questions about art in the 21st century. Becky believes we are experiencing an era of art accessibility unlike anything we’ve seen before. “Art is more democratic than it once was,” she says. She clarifies by saying, “I don’t mean it has become political, but democratic in the sense that it is able to be created by all.”
If the 20th century was the proverbial genesis of this age of free-access art, technological advances are ensuring that the 21st century is the exclamation point at the end of the sentence. From digital photography to open-source audio-recording software, technology is taking art out of the hands of the elite and placing it into the hands of the common man – or woman. And Becky couldn’t be happier. “We all have art at our fingertips,” she says. This belief places Becky at odds with the cohort of artists who believe creativity has more value when it has been honed by artistic instruction. Instead of being concerned or critical, Becky has been thrilled to watch the way technology has breathed new life into art and inspired new forms of creativity.
Her particle physics inspired collection is just one example of the way artists can draw on science and technology as motivation for exploring new techniques and mediums. One of the things Becky tried to employ in this series was the use of everyday objects within her art. Considering Becky’s series was completed following a move to a new home, she had no trouble finding random objects in the moving boxes that surrounded her.