Phil Irish

Project Room: October 5 – November  3, 2019

Opening Reception: Saturday, October 5, 2 -5pm

Phil Irish’s new series unearths what lies beneath the surface of our consciousness and awareness. His recent series is inspired by his time on an icebreaker in the Canadian arctic – a 150-day expedition from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage with Canada C3. During the expedition, Irish observed the ice formations as remarkable dynamic forces of nature – never static and constantly changing, shifting, melting, spinning, and moving.

Irish combines finely detailed brushwork, with narrative elements, and bold hard-lined abstraction to construct otherworldly visions of the arctic. Ethereal apparitions of classic architecture – Corinthian capitals, opulent buttresses, and winding staircases – emerge from beneath his majestic icebergs. Emblems of western culture materialize from the ice, evoking the sense that these glacial formations have silently bore witness to the transformation of the geography and culture for millennia.

His paintings provoke questions surrounding melting ice caps and rising sea levels, and their potential impact on culture and built heritage. He invites the viewer to imagine unseen worlds and histories hidden below the surface.


410 Spadina Road
Toronto, ON,
Canada, M5P2W2


Wednesdays - Saturday
11am - 5pm
or, by Appointment