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Philip Hughes, Kay Syrad, Stephen Coppel


A new selection from Philip Hughes' unpublished notebooks going back over twenty-five years

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In an astonishing collection of twenty-seven notebooks created over a quarter of a century, Philip Hughes has sought to capture the spirit of a place: its geological structure, its relationship with the surrounding landscape, and its occasional signs of human intervention.

These painterly but topographically precise notebooks record moments when the artist has been moved to draw what he can see, whether from the shelter of a standing stone in Orkney, Scotland, from the air over the Simpson desert in Australia, or from a postal boat sailing through the Norwegian fjords.

Pieced together by Hughes himself from over a thousand drawings, this is a logbook of momentary observations. Some are swift sketches of fields or horizons, others are slower studies of lichen and flowers in Antarctica, or lines of quartz in granite in Cornwall. The depth of feeling and knowledge Hughes has for different terrains and climates underpins the beauty of this essential and inspiring selection of notebooks.

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'Dream visions of place and time, ranging from northern Europe to Antarctica. His drawings of Orkney simultaneously feel like topological diagrams and fever dreams'
The Herald

'A testament to the beauty and clarity of creative expression. Its authenticity, thematic diversity, keen observations, and unconventional structure deliver a captivating window on the author’s creative mind'

'Hughes’ annotations will be fascinating for artists, but this coffee table book is for everyone'
Scottish Field

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 26.0 x 24.0 cm

Extent: 176 pp

Illustrations: 164

Publication date: 29 February 2024

ISBN: 9780500027165

About the Author

Philip Hughes is a widely exhibited artist. His vision has been shaped by
extensive travel linked to a preoccupation with the structure of landscape and the archaeology of ancient cultures. Hughes’ work is represented in numerous public collections, including The British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the UK Government Collection in London, UK, and the Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA. He served on the council of the Royal College of Art (1987–1992), on the board of the Design Museum (1990–1996) and as Chairman of the Trustees of the National Gallery (1996–2000). Kay Syrad is a poet and novelist. She was Poetry Editor for Envoi from 2014–2020 and writes poetry reviews and articles for a range of journals. She has written two novels, and two of her poetry collections, Wild Correspondings: an eco-poetry sourcebook and What is near, were published in 2021. Her writing on artists includes Chris Drury: Silent Spaces (1998/2004). Stephen Coppel is Assistant Keeper of Modern Prints and Drawings at the British Museum, London.