Woodroffe, Patrick

Patrick James Woodroffe (27 October 1940 – 10 May 2014) was an English artist, etcher and drawer, who specialised in fantasy science-fiction artwork, with images that bordered on the surreal. His achievements include several collaborations with well-known musicians, two bronze sculptures displayed in Switzerland and numerous books. In 1964 he graduated in French and German at the University of Leeds, before going on to exhibit his first showing of pen and ink drawings, Conflict, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. However he did not become a full-time artist until 1972, the year in which he gave an exhibit of his paintings, etchings and related works at the Covent Garden Gallery in London.

His career took off when he was asked to produce approximately 90 book cover paintings between 1973 and 1976 for Corgi, including Peter Valentine Timlett's The Seedbearers (1975) and Roger Zelazny's Nine Princes in Amber (1974). Many of the books in this site have Patrick’s art, particularly the Moorcock’s. During this early period he was also commissioned to provide art for record album cover sleeves, including heavy metal band Judas Priest's album Sad Wings of Destiny (1976).This was followed by an exhibition of book-jacket and record-sleeve paintings in 1976, which appeared at Mel Calman's Workshop Gallery in London. 

The Pentateuch of the Cosmogony is a concept album and multimedia project by Patrick Woodroffe and Dave Greenslade, released in 1979. The project combines a hardback book (conceived, written and illustrated by Woodroffe) and a double vinyl album of music (written and performed by Greenslade). The title means, approximately, 'the first five books (pentateuch) of the creation (cosmogony)'.

The story and artwork within 'Pentateuch' concerns the discovery of an abandoned spacecraft in orbit around Jupiter, and the project to decipher the ideograms in the pentateuch 'document' discovered within. Most of the book is a retelling of the document, in much the same way as a modern translator might retell the contents of a Babylonian tablet or Egyptian papyrus scroll. Particularly remarkable is the combinatorial ideographic script created by Woodroffe and used throughout the artwork.

Greenslade contributes the 74 minutes of music as his second solo project, enlisting Phil Collins amongst others to help.

A CD reissue was released in 1994, achieving the awkward transfer of Woodroffe's 12" x 12" book into a 5" square booklet with some success, though the impact of some of the artwork is lost, and the end of one track is faded out early.

The story was retold without music in Woodroffe's 1987 book The Second Earth. This featured additional artwork and was rewritten with extended prose replacing the original verse form. The additional artwork is not always as closely linked to the story as the original selection. A Japanese edition was also published. 




Woodroffe $15.00(067)


A collection of Patrick's early imagery, mostly science-fiction and record-sleeves, with explanatory texts. Roger Dean, a well-known artist with a fairly similar style, was collaborating at the time with Hubert Schaafsma, their first aim being to set themselves up as a publishing company and to produce Roger's first book "Visions". Roger telephoned Patrick shortly after that, suggesting the production of a similar book. The title attempts to join together the two words "mythopoeic" and "ikon". There was no agreement on the pronunciation, so you can say it however you like!