Derek Hill, an RCA-trained practitioner from northeast England, has a proven track record of public engagement. Hill founded the Art Studio in Sunderland in 1986 and was its artistic director for 26 years before moving to his current location in 2012.

Introduction: Derek Hill received widespread acclaim for his pioneering work at the Art Studio, including recognition from The Daily Telegraph and the Association of Business Sponsors for 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 shown in London, Oxford, Glasgow, Paris, and Belgrade, and it is held in private and public collections, including the Imperial War Museum in London. He has been featured in national publications such as the Telegraph, the Observer, the Arts Council’s “96 from 96,” Arts Review, and Flash Art International, an online magazine.


Notes on Current Development 2024:

Current paintings:



Reviews & Exhibitions:

The Art Studio:

Hill’s first solo exhibition, Victory and Defeat, opened in 1983 at the Imperial War Museum’s entry lobby in London. The exhibition, ‘Victory and Defeat,’ featured twenty-five etchings and drawings organised by Angela Weight, IWM’s keeper. Victorious and Defeated:


“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.”

by J. Millard (Former manager of Liverpool and Newcastle Museums)

Flaw (continued)

Julie Revell, Head of Exhibitions, invited Hill to present a solo exhibition of paintings from his ongoing project, ‘Flaw’, in the Myles Meehan Gallery of the Darlington Art Centre in 2009/10. Dr. Outi Remes, SHP Visual Arts Director, curated the second show in the series, ‘Flaw, the New Work’, which was held a year later, in 2011, in the Bracknell Galleries at South Hill Park Arts Centre. (See exhibition images and reviews below.).

Hidden Kingdoms Shifting Worlds

Since 2016, Hill has been developing a series of paintings based on the theme ‘Shifting Worlds’, a project still in progress. A collection of his paintings is now on display at Newcastle University’s Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology (CBCB) at the Baddiley-Clark Building. Viewing by appointment. A recent set of paintings and films was displayed in the public forum of the building in 2022. (See reviews: “When Art and Science Collide” and “Big and Small” below.) Contact reception for viewing.