Phoebe Collings-James works across sound, video, performance, painting and ceramic sculpture to create artwork that eludes linear retellings of stories. Her works function as “emotional detritus”: they speak of knowledges of feelings, the debris of violence, language and desire which are inherent to living and surviving within hostile environments. Recent works have been dealing with the object as subject, giving life and tension to ceramic forms. Collings-James often refers to her responses as ‘the predicted sensory overload of my generation’ characterised by a nuanced yet potent directness. The closely considered sexuality of her work underwritten by a sustained engagement with feminist perspectives. More recently, Collings-James performs as Young Nettle, a musical alias, developing a relationship to enveloping sound and as part of B.O.S.S., a QTIBIPOC sound system based in South London.
As the 2021 Freelands Ceramic Fellow, Collings-James has a current solo exhibition A Scratch! A Scratch! at Camden Arts Centre, London. Upcoming group & solo shows include Loop, Eastside Projects, Birmingham; Productive picture disturbance. Sigmar Polke and current artistic positions, Kunsthalle Dusseldorf and Tender/Tenderized, Picture Room, New York, in autumn 2021. Collings-James’s Mudbelly ceramics studio began as a personal practice and research outlet, but has since grown to encompass a shop and a teaching facility offering free ceramics courses for Black people in London, taught by Black ceramicists. In 2021, as part of the QTIBIPOC collective B.O.S.S (Black Obssidian Sound System) the artist has exhibited in the Liverpool biennial and has been nominated for the Turner Prize.