About Derek Hill


Flaw, 2009. Oil and mixed media on canvas, 2.5 x 3 metres.

Derek Hill, an RCA-trained practitioner from the North East of England, has a well-established reputation for public engagement. Hill founded The Art Studio in Sunderland in 1986 and served as its artistic director for 26 years before moving to his current studio in 2012.

Hill received widespread acclaim for his pioneering work at the Art Studio, including recognition from The Daily Telegraph and the Association of Business Sponsors of the Arts. In 1996, Arts Council England and the City of Sunderland commissioned the installation book for the Visual Arts UK Initiative. His work has been exhibited in London, Oxford, Glasgow, Paris, and Belgrade and is held in both private and public collections, including the Imperial War Museum in London. He has appeared in national publications including the Telegraph, the Observer, the Arts Council’s “96 from 96,” Arts Review, and Flash Art International, an online magazine. Notes on development and studio practice: https://www.derekhill.co.uk/current-paintings-2024/



In 1983, he had his first solo exhibition, “Victory and Defeat,” at the Imperial War Museum in London, which was curated by Angela Weight, the keeper. Hill was invited by Julie Revelle, Head of Exhibitions, to stage a solo exhibition of his paintings from his ongoing project, Flaw, in the Myles Meehan Gallery at the Darlington Art Centre in 2009, and by Outi Remes, Head of Exhibitions, at the Bracknell Galleries at Southill Park Art Centre in Bracknell, in 2011-2012.




From “Flaw” 2009: Oil and mixed media on canvas, 2.5 x 3 meters.

Flaw and other works.” Derek Hill works like an alchemist. His studio is a magical place where he conducts his experiments. It is a cavernous roof space with alcoves and wooden stairways on every side. Overhead is a tangle of huge wooden beams with an occasional fluttering pigeon, and in the middle is a great irregular space. Paintings are everywhere. They are slotted in rows into every alcove. They cover the floor with sheets of polythene. On the narrow strips between them are pots and tools, and there’s not much room to walk.
Derek’s alchemy consists of making combinations from his remarkable storehouse of materials and deploying his immense compendium of techniques. His images are drawn, poured, and painted in a meticulous sequence of actions balancing chance and control. Some of his canvases are like microscopic biological processes expanded to a massive size. Others appear to be vast geographical processes made to happen in a few square feet. They are lucid and mysterious, generous and intense, majestic and, literally, wonderful.” J. Millard (former manager, Liverpool and Newcastle Museums)

From ‘Flaw’ 2016 to 2019. 2.5 x 3 m oil and mixed media on canvas.

Hill has been collaborating with scientists on the ‘Shifting Worlds’ project since 2016, which is still in progress. A selection of his most recent paintings and films are currently on display at Newcastle University’s Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology (CBCB).



From ‘Flaw’ 2016–2019. Oil on canvas, 1.6 x 1.6m

From ‘Flaw’ 2016–2019. oil on lace on canvas, 2 x 2 metres

Shifting Worlds’ is a compilation of HR film-sketch studies for AV screening and large format 4K projections with sound by Derek Hill and Dr. Richard Daniel. Ian Hall edited. On display at the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology, Baddily Clark Building, Newcastle University.


From ‘Flaw’ 2016–2019. oil on lace on canvas, 1.8 x 1.8 metres 

From ‘Flaw’ 2016–2019. oil on lace on canvas, 1.8 x 1.8 metres

Current: ‘Shifting Worlds’, a compilation of HR film sketches for AV screening and large format 4K projections with sound by Derek Hill and Dr. Richard Daniel. Ian Hall edited.

From the series ‘Flaw’ 2016–2019.  Oil on lace on canvas.

From ‘Flaw’ 2016–2019.  Oil on lace on canvas

From ‘Flaw’ 2016–2019.  Oil on lace on canvas



Shifting Worlds art exhibition at the CBCB
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The Art Studio

Derek Hill founded The Art Studio in Sunderland in 1986 and was its lead artist until 2012.


Additional Previous Experience

I spent a number of years visiting and presenting my work teaching part-time, running workshops in Art Departments at Colleges and Universities in various locations throughout the United Kingdom…



book was produced as a commission from the City of Sunderland Education and Community Services and the Arts Council of England as part of Visual Art Initiatives UK, 1996.