Phillip Bailey: Mapping Imagination

Explore the merging of identity and place through imaginative mapmaking with Nova Scotia artist Phillip Bailey.

Artist Profile - Phillip Bailey

  • Born in Lequille, Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, Phillip Bailey was raised in a tight knit community where hard work and dedication were rewarded. His parents, both of African descent, raised him to strive for excellence. 

    At an early age Phillip showed an aptitude for art. This was fostered as a hobby but not a viable professional option. During a lengthy career in corrections, art was an avenue to self care. 

    Most of us are familiar with the two most common types of maps; geographically accurate maps and fantasy maps. Phillip creates manuscript (hand-drawn) maps using a combination of pencil, ink and acrylics that draw inspiration from both map genres.

    These unique maps begin in cartography and end in art, combining two or more geographically accurate maps to create a place of fantasy. This newly created place maintains the accurate geography of the original maps, while sparking the imagination of the viewer.

    With an unparalleled dedication to detail, Phillip also creates maps that merge a visual element that is related to the map, such as the flag of the country, province, or city. When merging the map and flag characteristics all details are maintained, tantalizing the viewer with where boundaries begin and end.

    Phillip’s inspiration and drive are rooted in explorations of layered meaning. His creative process is dedicated to detail. His goal is to challenge viewers to look deeply into both themselves and the artwork. His passion is fuelled by the possibility of the impossible. Imagine being in two of your favourite places at the same time!

    Phillip began his full time career as an artist in 2017. Since that time, he has completed numerous commissions and orders for limited edition prints. 

    It is important to Phillip that artists from rural and diverse communities identify avenues to display their work and connect with others from around the world. He is constantly exploring new opportunities for creation and collaboration, through both traditional and  non-traditional venues. At any given time, Phillip may be found creating a personalized commission to commemorate a meaningful family milestone, working on partnerships with cultural organizations, or appearing as a guest on a podcast.