MamaFuel: The Podcast

EP059: The power of legacy: Shermain Philip on art as a doorway to conversation

October 28, 2019

Today’s guest is a talented artist, a deeply reflective woman and a conscious mama whose decision to mindfully shepherd her young son through the world has broken many moulds.

Before I’d ever spoken a word to Shermain Philip, I was captivated by her art. Her bold strokes and the way she uses light infuse life into the people she’s painting. When I learned some of the stories behind her work, I was hooked.

Shermain uses her paintings as doorways into conversation with her son; conversations about the American Civil Rights Movement, the Black Panthers, the Windrush Generation in the UK and so much more. By sharing her art with her son, Shermain gently invites him to be curious. Their conversations have covered complex topics like racism, civil rights, naturalisation, inequality and so much more. 

Hearing Shermain talk about the different treatment her son receives in school relative to his white school mates was essential -- those of us who don't have to tell our children that people may assume they're naughty because of what they look like have a duty to listen to the mamas who DO have those conversations. Because we've got to do and be better for every child in the world today and tomorrow.  

As we spoke I was struck by Shermain’s focus on legacy, both as an artist and as a mother. She’s mindful of the impact she’s having on her son, and hopes to have a broader impact with her art long after she’s gone.

I don’t doubt that will happen. To find out more about Shermain and to see her art, click here. That’s where you’ll also find information about the book we talk about and the other podcasts we mention in this week’s episode.

If you'd like to be part of a bigger conversation about the issues we discussed in this week's podcast, head over to the MamaFuel Virtual Village, a free community where we discuss the podcast and so much more. See you there!