Tom Phillips 'Irma' to be performed at the South London Gallery
16 September – 17 September 2017
TOM PHILLIPS IRMA – OPUS XIIB
Tom Phillips' Irma is a unique, intermedia artwork, a miniature "chance" opera brought to life through video projection, recordings, instruments, vocalists and an actor. The first performance of the new score, Opus XIIB, marks the 80th birthday of renowned artist and notable Peckham resident Tom Phillips RA.
Set within the South London Gallery, where Phillips first showed his work as a student, Irma is inspired by his masterpiece A Humument, created from the pages of a Victorian novel bought for threepence on Peckham Rye in 1966. An hour long, Irma is an experimental artwork encompassing every aspect of an operatic performance in poetic, beautiful, enigmatic and miniature form. The costumes are inspired by Phillips’ artworks and his Victorian postcard collection held at the Bodleian Libraries.
During the day the installation brings Phillips’ intricate visual score to life through an evocative combination of soundscape and video. This exciting weekend of events celebrates Philips’ extraordinary artistic output in art and music in his 80th year.
Produced by Sound UK. Funded by Arts Council England and Hinrichsen Foundation. With thanks to the South London Gallery.
Booking for Irma: an opera is essential. Book online or call 020 7703 6120.
Director / Designer - Netia Jones
Music Director - Anton Lukoszevieze
Performed by Apartment House
Video by Lightmap
16 and 17 September
Main Gallery, South London Gallery
Tickets: £15 (£10 conc)
Installation 11am – 6pm. Free admission
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 is only the second artist to have a retrospective of his portraits at the National Portrait Gallery 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 2013 design for the Benjamin Britten 50p piece was the first to feature poetry. Phillips is also a judge for the Man Booker Prize 2017.