Patrick Woodroffe

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In my youth, when I was first getting into illustration quite seriously, one of my favourite-ist pictures was Hortus Conclusus by Patrick Woodroffe, who died last year.

Yesterday, I was a very happy person as I finally got to see this oil painting in real life; Falmouth Art Gallery is currently running a retrospective of his work. Also present was the cover to The Sentinel, a gatefold-album by Neo-Proggers Pallas, another notable item from my early eighties experience.

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Patrick employed an almost miniaturist approach to many of his paintings – they are staggeringly detailed and the gallery should have provided magnifying glasses as I strained my aged eyeballs squinting at many of the works . I knew a little about his processes from his book ‘A Closer Look’, in which Patrick reveals many of his arcane secrets in detail. But mere reproduction cannot begin to capture the texture, colour and clock-maker craftsmanship he lavished on his pictures.

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There’s a lot to see in the show; as well as book and record covers, there are etchings, tomographs (Patrick’s painted cut-out puppet thingies) and items from his studio. The event runs until April 18th at Falmouth Art Gallery.

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