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Josh Philpott
The Sigil is Subsumed by the City

December 3nd 2021 - January 6th 2022

Josh Philpott responds to his environment, seeking minor absurdities that largely go unnoticed by  the surrounding populace but stick out once seen. These instances are source material which are either directly reappropriated or reproduced through the most appropriate media, then restaged as an artificial absurdity in a public space. Carrying a further intrigue of the artifice of boundaries, his work coalesces into interventions fed back into public or heterotopic spaces, to be encountered by chance as part of a place and interrupt a viewer’s passive experience passing through it. The Sigil is Subsumed by the City is an open edition of stickers made from a photo Josh took of a religious bumper sticker on a parked car down the road from his flat. In this edition the featured Bible quote (Col. 1:27) printed with enigmatic typeset (artist unknown) is re-presented as a visual poem and a found situation, the car being a vessel to carry the message. Distributed from Special Dispensations the stickers can spread around Norwich and become a super-sigil for collective unification, activated when multiple stickers are placed.


If you wish, you can document the placement of a sticker by taking a picture and sharing on Instagram with the hashtag #thesigilissubsumedbythecity 

Josh Philpott (b.1994, Birmingham, UK) is an artist working across sculpture, drawing, site-specific intervention, installation, text art, and sound art.


He incorporates elements of poetry, music, conceptualism, and the built environment by way of reappropriation of found objects, drawing upon such interests as (but not limited to) psychogeography, absurdist humour, and midwestern-emo. His work is also invariably, if usually unconsciously, informed by the circumstances of living with the chronic illnesses of Cystic Fibrosis and CF-related diabetes. He graduated with a BA (Hons) in Sculpture from Camberwell College of the Arts and has exhibited in Conditions Exhibition 2019-2021, Unit 48 Whitgift Centre (London, 2021); Creekside Open 2017, A.P.T Gallery (London, 2017); Art + Text, 44AD (Bath, 2017); Everyday Is A Day Too Long, Electric House (London, 2017); Homeward Bound, Safehouse 1 (London, 2016); UNIT, Southwark Park Galleries (London, 2015); and co-curated the outdoor Winter Festival Exhibition at Queens Park Nomadic Gardens in 2017. In 2021 he  established his musical project Song of Ungrounding and self-released the album Selhurst Railway Station, Platform 2 (Excerpts) on Bandcamp. Currently he is a member of the Conditions Studio Programme.


He lives and works in London, UK (shielding in Somerset, UK). 

Josh Philpott can be found on the web at joshphilpott.net or Instagram here


What is Special Dispensations?

Special Dispensations is an artist residency programme by Honor Ash, based in a vending machine, currently situated in the foyer of Norwich Playhouse. Each month, a new artist is invited to take over and use the machine to distribute works on paper for the price of 50p per vend. 

How can I apply for a residency with Special Dispensations? 

Send us an email at specialdispensations@gmail.com and we'll get in touch with details on how to submit a proposal. 

Who gets the money from the sale of artworks? 

50% of all income goes to the resident artist, and 50% contributes towards the administrative costs of keeping it running.

Norwich Playhouse

42-58 St George's Street




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