Tom Phillips 'Irma' to be performed at the South London Gallery

South London Gallery

16 September – 17 September 2017

Tom Phillips 'Irma' to be performed at the South London Gallery


Netia Jones / Lightmap, Anton Lukoszevieze / Apartment House

Performances: evening Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September

Audio visual installation: all day Saturday 16 and 17 September

Tom Phillips RA is one of Britain’s most renowned artists: a painter, print maker, librettist and composer. To mark his 80th birthday, the South London Gallery hosts the world premiere performance and a beautifully designed audio visual installation of his opera Irma in his home of Camberwell and Peckham. 

Phillips first began work on Irma in 1969, the same year as his intricately designed artwork A Humument which he created from the pages of a Victorian novel up until 2016. As A Humument is finally completed, Phillips has extended the original one page Irma score, inspired and drawn from A Humument, into a fully realised piece. 

One of the hidden gems of English experimental music, alongside Gavin Bryars Sinking of the Titanic, Irma encompasses every aspect of an operatic performance in poetic, beautiful, enigmatic and miniature form. 

Irma will be shown as an audio visual installation in the main gallery from 11am-6pm on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September. The evening performance will be set within the gallery where Phillips first showed his work as an art student and whose Victorian style echoes the source of Irma’s story, and the book A Humument to which it relates. 

Directed and designed by Netia Jones and Lightmap, with music direction by Anton Lukoszevieze and Apartment House. 

Produced by Sound UK. Funded by Arts Council England and Hinrichsen Foundation. With thanks to the South London Gallery.

Tickets for the evening performances are available on the South London Gallery website. To learn more, and to participate in the crowdfunder campaign for the project, please visit

For further information please contact the SLG on 020 7703 6120 or email