Hidden Kingdoms - Shifting Worlds

“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 lean in stacks in all directions. They are slotted in rows into every alcove. They cover the floor on 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 in making combinations from his remarkable storehouse of materials, and in 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.”

John Millard (former manager of Newcastle, and Liverpool Museums)