ABOUT THE ARTIST (JOSEPH HILLIER)
Born in Cornwall in 1974, Joseph studied at Falmouth College of Art, then at Newcastle University. In 2000, he received the Year of the Artist award, from the Arts Council of England, while also finishing his earliest publicly sited projects. The year after that, he won a scholarship and teaching role at Tulane University in New Orleans. While there, he completed an MFA and taught for one year. While in that place he made a group of works entitled “Being Human” — five large works which sold to a collection and funded Hillier’s first studio in London, where he created his first solo show at APT Gallery.
Hillier was invited to a solo exhibition with the Contemporary Arts Society in London’s Economist Plaza in 2007. He has managed to balance his permanent publicly sited works with a strong exhibiting career including the solo exhibition “It’s not true, but it might be beautiful,” in 2012 at the Myles Meehan Gallery in Darlington.
”In Our Image” was created in 2009 for the entrance to Newton-Aylcliffe (an industrial town) in Durham. Working closely with a local steel fabrication firm over the span of one year, Hillier made their usual constructs into a linear structure in the form of a human head and shoulders. The piece is a 16.7m monument to the town’s workers and also incorporated the silhouettes of the engineers who welded the work together.
Commissioned by BBC One and the “Cultural Spring” he created “Mortal 8” a work which was then bought for a public collection and was nominated for the Visual Artist of the Year award in the 2014 Culture Awards.
Hillier’s work has been widely shown in galleries and sculpture parks. He has 17 large permanent installations nationally and internationally. He creates his work from a purpose-built studio in North-East England, using a range of processes from digital 3D media to lost-wax bronze casting.