Born in Cornwall in 1974, Hillier studied at Falmouth College of Art, then at Newcastle University. After graduation Hillier held a research post at Newcastle University for a number of years, whilst making a series of exhibitions in the UK. In 2003 qualified for his Master in Fine Art Sculpture at Tulane University, New Orleans. With seventeen large-scale permanent sculptures in public places, Hillier is one of the most prolific artists in the public realm. Making connections with humans, who we are and where we have come from. ‘Interred’ demonstrates a connection with the earth and the limitations of life on this earth, the form is built up of folded layers which could be interpreted as waves or roots which look as if they have cocooned the figure. This is symbolic of the connection between humans and the elements.
The ‘Messenger’ is a lifesize version of Hillier’s largest bronze to date. The full size version sits perminantly in front of Theatre Royal, Plymouth, weighing in at nine and a half tonnes, with a height of seven metres (23ft) and nine metres (30ft) wide. ‘Messenger’ by Hillier is the largest cast bronze sculpture in the UK. It was commissioned by the Theatre Royal Plymouth as part of their regeneration project.
Aluminium and resin
Making connections with humans, who we are and where we have come from. ‘Interred’ demonstrates a connection with the earth and the limitations of life on this earth. The form is built up of folded layers, which could be interpreted as waves or roots, and they look as if they have cocooned the figure. This is symbolic of our connection and vulnerability to the elements.
Born: 24 April 1974 Cornwall, England
2003 MFA Sculpture. Tulane University, New Orleans
2000 Cyprus College of Art, Summer School
1997 Newcastle University, BA (Hons) Fine Art
1993 Falmouth School of Art, Foundation Course Art and Design.
2020 Beaux Arts Gallery, London Art Fair
2019 British Art Fair Saatchi Gallery London
2018 Cheeseburn Sculpture, Northumberland UK, solo show.
2018 33 Davies street, London, solo show.
2018 Dance city, Newcastle, solo show.
2017 Beaux Arts London, group summer exhibition.
2017 Garden Gallery, Wiltshire, group summer exhibition.
2016 TRP gallery Plymouth, solo show.
2015 FCA Canary Wharf, 2-person show
2015 Discerning Eye, prize-winner
2013 Royal Academy of Arts, Summer Exhibition, London UK
2013 National Sculpture Prize finalist, Broomhill Sculpture Garden, UK
2013 Burghley House UK, Surface, group exhibition, curated by Mike Shaw
2012 Myles Meehan Gallery, it’s not true, but it might be beautiful, solo exhibition
2011 Globe Gallery, Fast Forward, group exhibition
2008 DLI (Durham Light Infantry Museum), solo exhibition
2008 Burghley Sculpture Garden, Stamford. Two pieces in group-show
2007 Art Gene, Barrow in Furness. Exhibition curated by Workplace Gallery
2007 Newby Hall, North Yorkshire. Group Exhibition
2007 Contemporary Art Society, Economist Plaza, London. Solo exhibition, May-July
2006-7 Install, Saltwell Park, Gateshead. Group Exhibition
2006 Newby Hall, North Yorkshire. Three works in the grounds of Adam House
2006 Glasgow International, Showed Dumb, with Workplace Gallery
2005 Lure, solo exhibition at APT gallery London, supported by Rollo Contemporary
2005 Exhibited at Burghley Sculpture Garden as part of ‘Sculptors Drawing”
2005 Royal British Sculptors Society show at the Botanic Gardens in Leicester
2003 Magazine Street Gallery, New Orleans
2003 Carroll Gallery, Tulane University, New Orleans
2000 Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle. Exhibition of work created during a residency
Commissions, Collections, Residencies, Work, Awards:
2019 Messenger, a major new 7 meter bronze for the city of Plymouth.
2017 Elected Fellow of the Royal Sculpture Society.
2016 Gillian Dickinson young sculptor of the year award – Judge
2016 Portrait of a town- Spalding Lincolnshire, UK
2015 Critical mass- 102 Middlesex St, London.
2014 Visual artist of the year – finalist culture awards.
2014 Faith – Queen Elizabeth Hospital Gateshead UK
2013 Digital Rendition – Broomhill National Sculpture Competition, finalist.
2013 Cloud rock man, Sheffield
2012 Binary Conversation, Commission for sculpture trail, Newbury
2012 I imagine you think, you think I imagine, Commission for Newcastle University
2011 Being Human and Generation, six major works in Newcastle University collection.
2011 Manchester Metropolitan University, Visiting lecturer to BA fine art students
2010 70%H20, Commission for Blaydon, Gateshead
2010 Internal Matter, Commission for Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford
2009 In Our Image, Commission for 16.7m sculpture for Newton Aycliffe
2006-9 now, then and always, Commission for Tullamore District Hospital, Ireland
2008 Life support, Commission for Environment Agency, Northumberland
2007 Moving Matter, Commission for The University of Hull
2007 Beyond Number, Commission for Popley, Basingstoke
2007-8 Residency with the Environment Agency across Northeast England
2005-6 Carbon Bond, Commission for Wansbeck Council
2004-2005 Generation, Commission for ONE North East, Development Agency, Newcastle
2004 Elected associate member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors
2002-2003 Sculpture Tutor, Tulane University, New Orleans, USA
2000 ‘Year of the Artist’ Award from the Arts Council
1998-2000 Research Associate – art for public space, Newcastle University.
Joseph Hillier is a British Artist, raised in Cornwall who has lived and worked in London, New Orleans and now Northumberland. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Sculptors and has created over twenty public works. His work is an exploration of the human, relative to the geometry and constructs of contemporary culture. Hiller re-makes the human body in various materials and via ancient and recent advances in technology, framing his figurative works in the current culture. Hillier studied at Falmouth school of Art, Newcastle University and Tulane University, New Orleans where he completed his MFA. Recent solo and group exhibitions include The British Art Fair, Saatchi Gallery, Digital Rendition, Royal Society of Sculptors, Cheeseburn Sculpture, Northumberland, and Beaux Arts London. Hillier’s work is held in private and public collections across Europe and America. His public works have ranged in scale from the monumental In Our Image, a 17m high figurative construction in County Durham to the miniature, series of fourteen neo-pastoral vignettes in Lincolnshire, Portrait of a Town: Spalding. He has recently completed his most ambitious public work to date, Messenger, which sailed in to the city of Plymouth at dawn on the 18th March 2019. The work depicts the fleeting action of a performer cast in 10 tonnes of bronze at 9m in width, the largest cast bronze sculpture in the UK.