Tom Phillips 'Irma' to be performed at South London Gallery
16 September – 17 September 2017
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, South London Gallery will host two world premiere performances and a beautifully designed audio visual installation of his opera Irma in the artist's home of Peckham.
Phillips first began work on Irma in 1969, the same year as his intricately designed artwork The Humument which he created from the pages of a Victorian novel up until 2016. As The Humument is finally completed, Phillips’ has extended the original one page Irma score, inspired and drawn from The 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 showcased as an audio visual installation when the performances are not taking place, set within the gallery where Phillips’ first showed his work as an art student and whose Edwardian style echoes the source of Irma’s story, and the book A Humument to which it relates.
This event follows a retrospective exhibition of work by Phillips at Flowers Gallery, Cork Street, 26 May - 1 July, 2017.
Tickets will be available to purchase from South London Gallery from May, 2017.
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. Supported by South London Gallery.