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08 Jun 17

Tom Phillips RA

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About Tom Phillips: Phillips attended art school during the 1960s and was swept up in the free exchange of art forms these institutions encouraged. He was instrumental in bringing composers like John Cage and Morton Feldman to the UK, and introducing Brian Eno to cross-art work. To name just a few of his artistic achievements, Tom Phillips was the second artist to have a retrospective of his portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in 1989 and was commissioned by the Royal Mint to design the first UK kilo coins to mark the occasion of the London 2012 Olympic Games. His design for the Benjamin Britten 50p piece in 2013 was the first to feature poetry. Phillips is also a judge for the Man Booker Prize 2017.

In 1966 Phillips resolved to dedicate himself to making art out of the first secondhand book he could find for threepence on Peckham Rye. Thus began A Humument, longest of Phillips's extended serial projects. A Humument is a radical 'treatment' of a forgotten Victorian novel by means of collage, cut-up, ornament and other techniques. On the fiftieth anniversary of its inception, in 2016, Phillips completed the sixth and final version of this work – each version with successively more pages reworked, until his original work had itself been completely transformed. Watch the video... 

Our project Irma: an opera is drawn from A Humument. Be part of Irma and support our crowdfunder campaign. Check out the unique rewards including a limited edition Tom Phillips print. Support now. Thank you! www.crowdfunder.co.uk/tom-phillips-irma

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An exhibition of Tom Phillips' work Connected Works runs at Flowers Gallery from 26 May – 1 July 2017.

News image credit: Tom Phillips, Bellenden Renewal Scheme, Rima Street Lamps, We Love Peckham mosaic