The Weight of Silence
An exhibition of digital paintings by Siris Hill
15th November 2019 – 25th January 2020
at The Fairhurst Gallery, Bedford Street, Norwich
The Fairhurst Gallery is proud to present a solo exhibition by Norwich-based artist Siris Hill whose creative practice is centred around Renaissance and Baroque inspired figurative painting. Hill is a digital fine artist, replicating the textures and movement of oil and acrylic paint with astonishing skill. His work explores the effects of mental illness, focusing on the struggle of perception, he depicts the beauty of individuality.
Hill’s emotive portraiture explores the effects that psychological conditions have on an individual, his works reflecting his own realities of living with mental illness as he investigates the social obstructions and loss of identity it creates. Unable to work around the fumes of oil paint, he has instead undertaken digital painting techniques to demonstrate a mastery of techniques of 17th-century artists.
I love oil painting, but I’m unable to use it due to the fumes and certain materials triggering my anxiety. I taught myself to replicate techniques of Renaissance painters such as Rembrandt. Due to the advancements in technology I’m able to replicate traditional painting almost exactly. I use a graphics tablet which tracks the movement of a pen that I hold to paint so my hand movements are then replicated on the screen. I build up a rough sketch to find a composition, fill in light and shadows, work in black and white to realise my forms and then glaze colours on top. (Siris Hill)
Hill started struggling with his mental health as a teenager, and subsequently found himself living on the streets. Despite extremely challenging circumstances he completed a BA Fine Arts degree at Norwich University of the Arts and has since curated an exhibition for Rethink Mental Illness in Norwich called ‘Art of the Mind’ at the Forum. This provided an opportunity for artists to share their work with the public and open a positive conversation around mental health.
Director of the Fairhurst Gallery, Dulcie Humphrey, states: “Siris’ work has something incredibly seductive about it. On a technical level it opens up an interesting conversation about painting as a digital medium. With titans of the process such as David Hockney embracing digital media as a way of working is this the direction painting is going into the future? The juxtaposing of Siris’ modern techniques depicting subjects seeped in old master references makes the final results even more intriguing.”
The Fairhurst Gallery will be exhibiting 3 of Hill’s light boxes which were first displayed at Moniker Art Fair in New York, earlier this year. Also available will be a selection of giclée prints and works on aluminium.
About Siris Hill: Born in 1989, Siris completed BAs in Games Art and Design + Fine Art from NUA between 2014-18. He has since exhibited in New York and London and curated group shows in Norwich. He has received extensive media coverage including features on BBC Look East and ITV Anglia.
Watch a short video about Siris’ painting process and a clip made by the BBC about his artistic journey so far: