Dan Hillier is a professional artist based in Stoke Newington, England. Dan lives and works in Hackney, London, making art for himself and for exhibitions and a few galleries, and he sometimes collaborates with others, including Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, The Folio Society, and rock bands Royal Blood, Architects, and The Broken Family Band, and he recently created the opening titles to BBC1’s major 6-part drama ‘Requiem’.
A blend of Surrealism and Neo-Victoriana, Dan Hillier’s unique aesthetic captures the essence of antique imagery with a modern edge. Featuring ancient mythological beings, anatomical drawings, dream imagery and religious iconography, Hillier’s work is an eccentric wonderland, a vision of reality at the fringes of reverie, with an uncanny life of its own.
His creative process involves sifting through material from Victorian books and sourcing illustrations from woodcuts and engravings. Led by whatever imagery he chances upon, Hillier follows his own associations and intuitions, creating collages from the found material, incorporating his own intricate ink drawings, and finally adding digital layers to bring these vintage assemblages up to date.
Hillier has an impressive roster of commercial collaborations, having worked on: Royal Blood album covers; campaigns at the Globe Theatre; the Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton retrospective at The Louvre in Paris; and the opening credits for the 2018 BBC drama ‘Requiem’, to name a few.
Dan is acclaimed for his black line engravings that embody the ‘Steampunk’ aesthetic, combining Victorian sensibilities with a fascination for animal attributes. These beautiful, classically rooted images find their power in their unsettling effect, as they seamlessly blur distinctions normally implied by reality.
Hillier’s beautiful, classically rooted images find their power in their unsettling effect, as they seamlessly blur distinctions normally implied by reality. The artist’s previous exhibitions include shows at the Saatchi gallery, the ICA and more recently, The Louvre.
‘Dan Hillier has most recently had a solo exhibition, ‘Ceremony’, at Saatchi Gallery in London, and has also previously exhibited at Les Musée des Arts Décoritifs at the Louvre in collaboration with Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton, with MuTate Britain in London and multiple times at Glastonbury Festival, and others, including a solo show at the Natural History Museum in Turin, Italy.
He has also collaborated with Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London where his artwork has been used for the Summer and Winter seasons 2016 – 2017.
Hillier currently lives and works in East London.
In 2012 Dan exhibited in The Louvre in Paris as part of the Marc Jacobs Louis Vuitton retrospective, and in 2015 he was invited by the British Council to represent Great Britain at the Giant Creator Show in Beijing, China.
Works from Dan’s solo show, ‘Ceremony’, at Saatchi Gallery, London, in November 2016 – January 2017, and ‘Aeons’, a self-initiated show in Hackney, London, are available amongst other work here, made over the last 12 or so years.
Dan’s work can be viewed and bought from his website danhillier.com and his gallery in London.
Dan runs his own gallery in Walthamstow, London, and has held solo and group shows in Saatchi Gallery in London, The Louvre in Paris, Glastonbury Festival and the Museum of Turin, Italy. In 2015 Dan was invited to represent Great Britain at the Giant Creator Show in Beijing, China.
My work is made by collaging, layering, and manipulating elements of 1800s wood and steel engravings, using digital media and my own drawing, to create work that reflects my love of the source material I work from, the natural world, various ancient mystery traditions, and the ever-unfolding and often mystical experience of being alive in a world that is apparently material, immaterial, and prone to all manner of interesting archetypal expressions and wonderments.
Collage and the manipulation of pre-existing imagery is a method of working that I find compelling, satisfying and often surprising. The process of moving from found imagery, through various permutations of trial and error and association between the chosen elements, allows a freedom of play and exploration that feels endless, despite its seeming inbuilt limitation.
The final image I make is produced as a screen print, which I’ll often apply gold leaf to, and then draw forms and patterns into this. I tend to let the making process find its own way to resolution whilst maintaining a
reasonable control over the core subject of the picture, as the combined elements and direction of the piece, make way for something previously unknown or unexpected to come through.