Phill Hopkins was born and grew up in Bristol, UK. He studied at Goldsmiths College in London from 1982-1985 and was taught by Michael Craig-Martin, Richard Wentworth and Carl Plackman. He lives and works in Leeds, UK.
His work is held in many public and private collections including: Baijia Lake International Culture Investment Group, China, MIMA / Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, The Imperial War Museum, London, The Henry Moore Centre for the Study of Sculpture, Leeds, Stadt, Dortmund, Germany, The Hungarian Museum of Photography, Kecskemet, Hungary, Leeds Art Gallery.
He exhibits internationally and UK exhibitions have included The Imperial War Museum, Henry Moore Institute, Kettles Yard, Cambridge, ICA, London, Leeds Art Gallery.
"Lately, I have turned my attention towards making pictures of people in refugee camps. This hasn’t been an overtly conscious decision to focus on one particular aspect, but a case of my continued following of the news narrative. In previous work, such as the ‘Syria’ series (recently showed in a successful exhibition in China, which are now in the collection of Nanjing Baijia Lake International Culture Investment Group), I made reference to the devastating destruction and the fleeing of people from their homeland; family watching tanks advancing on the horizon, an ISIS flag flying from the top of a residential building, women and their children running from a mortar attack and other such depictions. In this new work I wanted to some how paint the sense of loneliness and fear that I see in the frightened faces of women and children as they battle with unwanted journeys in foreign lands. Hounded out of their own country and abruptly greeted by unwelcoming and often violent communities. I want to honour these people. Those on treacherous journeys, met by aggressive police and controlled by the horror of razor wire. I make pictures and make reference to images that we can easily miss in the daily news by being distracted by the weather or Eurovision.
With very ordinary and domestic materials bought at the hardware shop, such as varnish, gloss and emulsion paints, I try to paint the squalid mud of refugee camps, the unimaginable horror of losing children and the plight of orphans alone in the ‘jungle’”.