Architectural / Monumental / Relief


Installation / Land / Site-specific




Found Objects


Metal (other)




Originally from Germany I have lived in Britain most of my life. After having worked as an art historian and writer for many years, I changed direction and started working with clay. 

Initially self-taught, I graduated from the City Lit Ceramic Diploma Course in 2019 and from the Royal College of Art in 2021.

My work integrates abstract geometric structures and more open-ended and improvised elements. 

I create hybrid objects by imagining archaeological fragments as architectural models or by making minimalist grids morph into organic structures and vice versa. Many of my sculptures don’t have a ‘right way up’ and can be positioned in different ways.

A sense of mobility – of memories, desires, fears and hopes – is im­portant to understanding my work. With the fragment there is often a cataclysmic event that results in the scattering of fragments which become mobile in the way the original structure might not have been, whereas the model embodies the mobility of ideas that have yet to settle in a particular place. Working with clay allows me to combine simple geometric forms and clearly differentiated surfaces, smooth or highly textured with the imprints of natural materials, found objects, or moulded by touch. Surfaces are further defined and accentuated with contrasting slips and glazes. Often my work responds to a particular location, or to a place imagined in literature or music. Questions about how we inhabit, remember and experience architectural spaces, about shelter and home, and about the uncanny and unhomely, have become central to my work.

For further information please see my website www.desaphilippi.com and Instagram @desaphilippi