Sculptor Phil Booth brings Japan to Truro in Et in Arcadia Ego at Royal Cornwall Museum

By Ben Miller | 29 June 2012
A photo of a woman looking at a colourful abstract sculture on the wall of a gallery
© Bernie Pettersen
Exhibition: Et in Arcadia Ego, Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, until September 29 2012

In a 40-year career as a professional sculptor, Phil Booth’s decade in Japan, where he was Professor of Design at Nagoya University, perhaps proved most influential in his artistic development.

A photo of an abstract turquoise and aqua-coloured sculpture inside a gallery
Tower II Broken Landscape (1996)© Bernie Pettersen
“I was able to spend a lot of time in my studio,” he says, opening this flourish of intriguing sculptures, evocative drawings and collages, his latest exploration of landscape in a series of shows across the world.

“Japan gave me the opportunity to follow up on ideas. The finding of things by chance in the landscape is important to me. It allows for a more open-ended process of discovery in the work.”

Booth is originally from Lamorna, a fishing village less than an hour from Truro, but this is his first major exhibition bringing his oriental discoveries to his home county.

“The use of found materials brings reference, history and association from uncontrolled sources,” he adds, hinting at the nature of the work involved.

“They are often drawn from engineering and technology. I am repeatedly intrigued by their talismanic quality.”

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