Tom Phillips - News


Monday, 25 April 2016 11:20 Written by Lucy Admin

20 Sites n Years Film


In 1973 Tom Phillips set out the following instruction for a new conceptual work which he called 20 Sites n Years:

Every year on or around the same day (24th May - 2nd June) at the same time of day and from the same position a photograph is taken at each of the twenty locations on this map which is based on a circle of half a mile radius drawn around the place (Site 1: 102 Grove Park SE15) where the project was devised. It is hoped that this process will be carried on into the future and beyond the deviser's death for as long as the possibility of continuing and the will to undertake the task persist.

Fortunately the will to undertake the task has persisted and each year since 1973 Tom Phillips has completed the annual nine mile circuit photographing each of the twenty locations.

Jake Auerbach is a filmmaker who works directly with his artist subjects to make truthful and compelling documentaries which are screened in galleries and museums around the world. Over several years he accompanied Tom Phillips as he photographed and edited 20 Sites and through interview, observation and archive footage he has made a film that tells the story of this work.

You can stream the film, purchase it on DVD or watch the trailer at this link:

A screening and Q&A event with both artist and filmmaker will be held at the South London Gallery in June. Details to be announced shortly.

Friday, 22 April 2016 16:07 Written by Lucy Admin

Shakespeare Metamorphosis

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The Library at Elsinore, 2007, books, acrylic and pigment ink 151.7 x 114 x 20 cm

Senate House, the central library of the University of London, has opened its doors for its first major exhibition, Shakespeare: Metamorphosis, which runs until 17 September 2016.

Curated by Dr Karen Attar and Dr Richard Espley and inspired by the famous ‘seven ages of man’ speech from As You Like It, Shakespeare: Metamorphosis traces and explains this transformation over 400 years by highlighting and displaying over 30 rare texts from seven significant ages of development.

Included in the exhibit are two installation works by Tom Phillips which explore the legacy of Shakespeare in our language and literature. The Library at Elsinore is a bookshelf of works that take their titles from Hamlet, and The Library at Elsinore Fragment contains only titles from Hamlet's 'to be or not to be' soliloquy. Both works can be seen in the reception area of Membership on the fourth floor of the library.

Shakespeare: Metamorphosis runs from 9am – 5.30pm, Monday – Friday, and 10am – 5pm on Saturdays, from 14 April to 17 September 2016. Senate House Library is located in Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU.
Visit the website for a complete overview of the exhibition and associated events

Elsinore books detail3

 The Library at Elsinore, detail

Friday, 22 April 2016 15:20 Written by Lucy Admin

Shakespeare Five Ounce Coins

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The Royal Mint commemorate Shakespeare this year with two coins designed by Tom Phillips. The five ounce proof coin in gold and in silver

Talking about the designs Phillips says “I thought to use the best known version of Shakespeare’s head since it is the only one we are certain was a likeness recognised and approved of by those who knew him. The only change I made was to put it in reverse because this was how the engraver originally drew it. I chose the quotation from Othello as the most appropriate mention of money in his work and a good command for likely purchasers of the coin.”
You can view other coins and medals designed by the artist here

Wednesday, 11 November 2015 23:29 Written by Lucy Admin

South London Dreaming


Prints by Tom Phillips feature in two group exhibitions this Autumn.
At GX Gallery in Camberwell, London, Brendan Neiland has curated an exhibition of works by artists who he says "have had some kind of impact on me personally. From the Royal College of Art, through various galleries, print workshops and art schools". Neilands Choice runs from 3rd -21st November 2015 Find out more at
The nearby Camberwell School of Art is celebrated in a survey exhibition 40 Years of Painting, Camberwell Students and Teachers, 1945 - 1985 at the Belgrave St Ives Galleries in Cornwall from 7th - 30th November 2015
John Watson, Chairman of the St Ives Society of Artists and a keen collector of art by Camberwell artists, and Michael Gaca, Gallery Director of Belgrave St Ives, who studied painting at Camberwell, have jointly curated this large-scale exhibition of paintings and drawings by 82 Camberwell artists. For more information, and to view the exhibition online visit

Monday, 12 October 2015 17:18 Written by Lucy Admin

A Humument in Boston


On display from 15th October at the 360 Gallery, Northeastern University, Boston, an exhibition of pages from A Humument dating from 1966 to 2013.
The exhibition which is free and open to the public, runs until 30th November 2015
Opening hours are Monday through Friday, 11am - 7pm Saturday and Sunday, 12pm - 5pm

Map and directions here

STOP PRESS On Friday 13th November 2015 from 4-6pm MassMOCA curator Denise Markonish will be at Gallery 360 to talk about curating A Humument and working with Tom Philips. This event will be free and open to the public.