About The Artist

Sandra Phillips has been a professional artist since1969, having received her formal visual and theatre arts training at Sir George Williams (Concordia) and York Universities. She has also undertaken specialized studies in her field at such noted institutions as the International Actors' Institute, Poland ; the Ontario College of Art and Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia, Java, Indonesia.

Sandra has performed as an actress in both French and English professional touring and resident theatre companies in Canada and Java, Indonesia. During the 1970's she toured extensively with "Théâtre Perds Pas l'Nords" and "le Théâtre du P'tit Bonheur", as well as appearing on Télévision Radio Canada's "La Nuit sur l'Etang".

In 1981, she founded contes GLOBAL tales Storytelling Theatre, of which she is Artistic Director and Designer of costumes, sets and shadow puppet art. Her original multi-media productions, which she both writes and directs, have been inspired by the ancient wayang kulit (shadow puppet theatre) of Java and are devoted to intercultural understanding  as well as to the healing of our  global environment. Sandra's stories and designs inspire compassion and empathy through a deeper understanding of our ancient Earth myths and legends.

Sandra's longtime relationship with the extraordinary island of Java and Bali, Indonesia, has resulted in several international performing arts' collaborations with such Javanese master artists as dancer, Wiryawan Padmonojati  and dalang (shadow puppet  master), Pak Jaka Rianto. She has been the featured soloist (sindhen) at the Canadian Gamelan Summit ; the Du Maurier Theatre, Toronto, with world-renowned dancer, Mas Didik Nini Thowok  as well as at numerous other University and Theatre concert venues. She is recognized internationally as a western practitioner of the ancient Central Javanese singing tradition (pesindhen).


Ms. Phillips is also an accomplished Visual Artist whose work has been exhibited extensively since 1972 in numerous Canadian professional galleries and theatres. Her work is exhibited internationally, as well, having been featured at the world-renowned Museum Rudana in Ubud, Bali. Her digital prints for the 2006-8 collaboration, "Kedamaian" (Peace/Compassion) with artists, Bundhowi (Bali) and Anna Niblic Heggie (Australia), were part of a critically-acclaimed tour of Canada (Barber Gallery, November, 2006), Indonesia (Rudana Museum, Ubud, Bali, 2007) and Australia ( Wayward Gallery, Byron Bay, 2008).

For the Canadian component of this unique exhibit , Sandra Phillips designed a DVD format Wayang Kulit performance entitled "Lakon Suara Ibu Bumi" ("The Voice of Mother Earth"). The Performance Series toured Ontario Universities and included  Central Javanese gamelan music featuring Sandra Phillips (sinden/soloist), Wiryawan Padmonojati (kendhang) and Andrew Timar (suling Sunda).  A Universities' Lecture Series was also presented at University of Guelph and University of Waterloo's Music and Peace and Conflict Studies Departments. Sandra is currently creating new works for "Warna. Couleur. Colour", a 2010-12 Canada-Bali collaboration.

In addition to her performance and visual artwork, Ms. Phillips is a highly respected certified Arts Education Specialist, having taught since 1977 in public schools, galleries and universities, including the Universities of Toronto, Guelph and Waterloo. She has been the recipient of numerous Ontario Arts Council, Artists in Education grants, for which she has designed projects involving global storytelling , creative drama and visual arts (in both English and French). Her many years of practical classroom experience have given her a unique insight into the Ontario schools' curriculum, for which she designs creative, arts-integrated Curriculum Units (see details under Workshops section) . She is  the designer of the Canadian Children's Museum , Indonesian and West African theatre and gamelan music schools' program for Ontario and Quebec. 

Sandra's Arts Educational Philosophy has been the the subject of numerous publications such as the B.C. Teachers' Federation Journal, University of Toronto MUSICA FICTA Journal and the Ontario and American Puppetry Association Journals.

Sandra Phillips has created her own, itinerant Musée GLOBAL Museum: a holistic, creative learning environment that has evolved from years of personal research into global arts and cultural traditions as well as the human oral tradition (mythology, legends, fables and folktales). Central to the Museum's philosophy is the theme of intercultural understanding and respect. This theme has been incorporated into the numerous professional exhibits for which Ms. Phillips has been curator. See Global Museum for details.

Sandra's  Teacher Workshops (Primary/Junior Level Art and ESL-integrated Curriculum) and University Lectures on Wayang Kulit Theatre, Central Javanese Gamelan Music and Peace and Conflict Studies' have been presented at such distinguished venues as the Elementary Teachers of Toronto 2007 Workshop Series; IMAGINE Teachers' Conference, Upper Grand District School Board; ISI National Performance Arts Institute, Java, Indonesia; and the Universities of Guelph, Waterloo and Toronto.

Sandra Phillips' Intercultural Biography (Canada/Indonesia)  is featured in the Canada/Indonesia Bilateral Celebrations' book entitled, "Friendship Beyond Borders". Excerpts from her multi-media theatre performances have been featured on CBC TV's "The Nature of Things" with David Suzuki, Radio Canada, CTV and CFMT Multicultural Television, Toronto




"Gamelan Toronto included a chorus of singers backing soloist Sandra Phillips, which added to the meditative aspect of the music"

Paula Citron, The Globe and Mail

      "The revue sketches, most of them by Clémence Desrochers, (were) hilarious...and I  particularly liked the work of Sandra Phillips, all frizzy hair and ingenuousness"

Urjo Kareda, The Toronto Star


"(Sandra Phillips) est dotée d'une grande force au niveau de l'expression... Sa grande connaissance du français lui a obtenu un bon nombre de rôles dans des théâtres francophones du Canada".  


Richard Casavant, ancien responsable franco-ontarien, Conseil des Arts

                                                                                                       de l' Ontario



"Three remarkable photographers come together to show how their lives interconnect through

technology and the transcendental. The images are powerful."


"Kedamaian" Exhibit Review, The Jakarta Post


contesglobaltales.ca    TO CONTACT US:  Click on names, below


Sandra e-mail
Allan e-mail